Coming into this class, I honestly didn’t know what to expect, and I think that ended up being beneficial to my experience with this course. I have always been a planner—I like to know all of the details of something I’m going to do to decide whether or not it is worth my time. But while this is how I have determined my decisions in the past, recently I have taken the liberty to be a bit more impulsive. When I was deciding what classes to take this semester I attempted to make the “perfect” schedule, but classes of course filled up fast as I was only registering as a sophomore. Initially, I was not going to take The Art of Steve Prince, even though I was interested in it. I did not know it could count towards my English major, and when I learned that it did I impulsively dropped another class so that it could fit into my schedule. Later, during drop/add week I impulsively added another class that I had not even considered taking until I saw that it had one open seat. It was a women and gender studies course, something I had wanted to take but didn’t think I would since I am not majoring or minoring in it. But I had room in my schedule, and I wanted to take it. I know for many students this way of choosing classes is normal, but for someone like me who has always planned everything out whenever given the chance, it was both liberating and intimidating.
I went into these two classes, The Art of Steve Prince and Gender and Sexualities with little knowledge of what they were, making it impossible for me to have expectations about them. I appreciate this in retrospect, because I was able to learn freely without being constrained by my own expectations for what we would do. There was the possibility that I wouldn’t enjoy either of these classes, but I never could have known unless I gave them a chance. I ended up learning a lot in both of them and am even now considering a minor in women and genders studies, something I never would have considered before taking this class. Adding another minor would increase my workload, especially since I’m trying to graduate a year early, but if I expect that I am incapable of accomplishing it then It will be 100% more likely that I won’t.
In just this semester I have encountered varying instances where I realized my expectations were holding me back. For example, all my life I have never really enjoyed sports. I think it was because I was forced to play them in gym and my teachers always enforced the importance of following the rules instead of actually enjoying it. Now in college, I find myself wanting to play things such as tennis, or basketball. Since I had not enjoyed sports in the past I expected I would continue to not enjoy them, but I found that when I was given the chance to experience them on my own terms that they were actually fun. I also never expected that I would be one to enjoy yoga since I really didn’t like it in gym, but I recently have found it’s a great method to destress and a way to take care of and appreciate your body. It almost seems obvious that the things we like and don’t like would change since we change constantly as we grow, but picking up new things is not the only option. It’s also important to retry old things.
In class we discussed obstacles to integrative learning that we encounter at Geneseo, and I have realized that one of the obstacles I have faced is my own expectations. I’m finally realizing that expectation never reflects reality, and s it very difficult to enjoy the unexpected, which makes up so much of life.