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The Importance of Learning Growth and Development

I originally wanted to major in art but soon switched to psychology. Not finding psychology to be as inspiring as I expected, I decided to major in French, which I had been studying since the sixth grade. Even deciding on a major did not help me choose a definite career goal, however. I planned to graduate first and then attend graduate school, thinking that I might want to earn a doctorate and teach French at the college level.

My courses and experiences in my University program contributed greatly to my growth, problem solving, written and oral communication, information retrieval and utilization, and collaboration. Although I had attended an excellent high school, my personal growth accelerated tremendously at the University, where I had more social obligations and opportunities and more freedom to structure my own time. At first, I had difficulty balancing my studies, social life, and family concerns. I learned to plan ahead more, say ˘no÷ to some opportunities, and define more sharply what I really wanted most. My problem solving skills improved as a result of being put in leadership positions where I had actual problems to solve, as opposed to the ones I had held in high school that were more or less just titles. My written communication improved as a result of excellent critiquing by my professors and the wider variety of writing types required by my courses. I had considered myself a good writer before entering the University, and although the sight of a page of my writing dripping with red ink was discouraging, I began to appreciate how my professors were helping me sharpen my writing skills. In spite of a required speech class, my communication skills did not improve substantially at first; they developed more as a result of participation in a Greek organization than from speech class. Through four years of speaking informally and sometimes formally in front of the familiar group, I grew much more comfortable an...

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