Final Self-Reflection Essay 

The first year of college felt very perplexed; honestly, it had its fair share of ups and downs. It wasn’t all smooth sailing, and I made some mistakes along the way that shaped how I saw things as I had already stepped into the second year. Those mistakes were more than just hiccups; they became essential lessons in making thoughtful decisions, those of which included risks. Being a biology major while juggling academics and a job outside of school brings its own set of challenges. However, I embrace the challenges, understanding that risk-taking is an inherent part of growth. Balancing the demands of my major and job may be daunting, but the rewards are immense. My second year so far has been a great opportunity to demonstrate my commitment to my academic and professional goals. With most actions comes a risk you must take. I’ve come to learn that most actions have a risk along with it.

Throughout the semester, I faced a couple of risks, but taking this course helped me understand the world as it has been and to imagine the world as it could be as stated in the epigraph. My workload this semester has been a lot; I continued my job alongside school, balancing my work-life schedule. My daily schedule consisted of going to school from 9 am to 3 pm and then going to work from 4 pm to 9 pm. When coming back late at night from work, I often felt tired and had no energy to do my schoolwork for the day. However I needed the financial stability in my life to take care of myself living alone. Risking my over health and academics. Another risk I faced was deciding I wanted to really live on my own. I live with four friends, and I thought it would be a great opportunity to create a window for enjoyment and help when needed, but it became rather congested and not for me. I discovered over time that I enjoy my own solitude and would rather be completely independent instead of a type of independence that coexisted with others. I took it upon myself to get a new apartment. When looking for apartments I thought the process would be simpler. Whatever looks good enough get, but when actually talking to renters and touring places, I realized how snuffy renters can be and how pictures online really don’t show an apartment’s potential. 

Taking this course (INTD) has helped me better reflect on these problems when they were actively occurring. I reflected on the idea that accepting risks is an adult thing, as stated in “Blood Child,” “If we’re not your animals, if these are adult things, accept the risk. There is risk, Gatoi, in dealing with a partner.” –Octavia Butler, “Bloodchild”. Ultimately, taking risks is a window of opportunity for greater rewards in life. If I hadn’t taken the risks of working hard for my stability and/or getting a new apartment, I would have never understood what this course was trying to teach me. These risks and problems I faced always happen in life. The world is based on hardships, but the world is also based on our own personal fantasies. If I had never accepted how the world has been, I would have never had the opportunity to see how It could be and to see that by taking risks. 

Gan’s experience is something I and many individuals go through. What might seem the right way of things to some may not be for you and me. The normality for some is a considerable risk for many. Like Gan wanting to insert Tlic eggs or not. Like if I wanted to go through with my work and or get a new place. Risks are scary, but there can be huge rewards or even small slices of positivity. If I had never taken the risk of balancing my work, I wouldn’t be able to live comfortably. If I had never taken the risk to set a deposit on my new apartment, I would feel constantly congested and confused about what to do in my third year. Ultimately, risk-taking is a part of adult life; it’s something you notice slowly over time, as Gan did, but you will see it soon, and it might not be so bad. 

Ultimately, the epigraph forms a thorough line for the work I’ve done. I’ve been given the guidance that helped control my thinking for this course and outside as well. I’ve recognized that in order to achieve potential rewards you have to take risks and that the rewards can be a form of rent-paying. Whether it’s me successfully securing an apartment and literally paying rent or me being able to take risks I hesitated on before, I feel as if the course helped me. I think students should gain practice in the ability to reflect upon changes in learning and outlook over time because it fosters crucial skills and benefits that contribute to their overall personal and academic development. It can even help outside of the classroom in different situations.

Octavia Butler took a risk by doing something that nobody else did at the time by writing science fiction. Her reward was that she became super successful because of it. The literal aspect of rent-paying is that she paid off her mom’s mortgage. I find myself relating to Butler in a sense that I initially took this semester risk by overloading my workload but the reward I got from it was that I developed the ability to take care of myself and be comfortable with the uncomfortable. I was also able to take part in the literal aspect of rent-paying by signing a lease to an apartment. With most actions comes a risk you must take. Whether or not you choose to take that risk, risks are crucial in order to develop as a person. I now realize that the risks, rewards, and rent-paying aspects of this course don’t just apply to a classroom but apply to my experiences and daily life.

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