Reflective Essay

All in all, this portfolio experiment was definitely interesting. This experiment taught me good ways to manage my time, allowed me to try out different strategies for learning, preparing for exams, and taking exams, and taught me communication and collaboration skills. It also helped me make both short and long term goals and helped me recognize different mindsets and develop a growth mindset.

The time management experiment was one of the most stressful for me. Before, I had never made a schedule for myself. I would always just go with the flow and do what I felt like in the moment. To be honest, I do not like using schedules. Seeing all the work that I have to for the day stresses me out, and I feel like I will never get all of it done. Then at the end of the day, it makes me realize all the work that I did not do and just makes me feel worse. However, during the experiment, I realized just how helpful a schedule can be. While I still have a long way to go when it comes to being disciplined enough to follow a schedule completely, it was nice to just look at my schedule and know that I need to study or do homework. It took out a lot of the headache of deciding when to do my work, and made me study more often. My schedule still needs some work, but I will definitely keep using it in the future.

The notecard experiment was a nice and easy one that proved to be extremely helpful. I used notecards fairly frequently in high school, but mostly for vocabulary, so using them for science and math was a nice change of pace. I was pleasantly surprised at how much knowledge I retained just by looking through the cards a few times. After five or six times, I could recite them almost perfectly. My exam grades also improved because of the cards. I now realize that notecards are a simple yet helpful tool for studying and will be using them for more exams down the road.

The three breath experiment was definitely an odd one that I was not sure how it would work. I knew that taking breaths and adjusting posture could help bring focus back to the exam and cause relaxation, but I was not sure as to what extent. I pride myself in being able to stay calm and collected, so I did not find this particularly helpful. I actually found myself frequently taking deep breaths and adjusting my posture anyway.

The professor interview was also a stressful experiment for me. I am fairly reserved, so trying to make conversations stresses me out. However, once the interview started, I had a lot of fun. Dr. Ennis is such a nice and down to Earth guy that talking with was very enjoyable. I learned a lot about different types of research I could go into as a chemistry major and just how much work goes into making a lesson plan and being a college professor. It was definitely an important learning experience for me and a good way to get to know my professor.

The goal setting experiment was a very deep experiment that taught me a lot about myself. It was interesting picking out certain values that I found most important to me, narrowing the list down, and then narrowing it down even further to just one value. Goal setting is an important part of accomplishments, and having a certain virtue tie into those goals made them all the more important. I found myself striving to accomplish my family goals more than other goals because they mean so much to me.

The mindset goal was the most eye opening experiment after the goal setting experiment. It made me realize just how victim minded I am. I tend to be very hard on myself when I fail. This experiment helped me find moments of being self-critical and turn those self-defeating thoughts into moments of inner guidance. While I tend to blame myself more, I can also blame others for my own failures. This experiment also helped me cope with that.

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