Independent Studies (are the greatest)

My last class of my third year is also my first independent study. I had originally registered to take my last Humanities Foundation course (words of advice -it’s super nice to have most, if not all, of those finished off before your third, but especially fourth year). However, I found out that I would need to be away for the first few days of block as I had to fly to Mexico to do a training for an international camp I am staffing this summer.


(..It’s a hard life).

I felt that I would be missing too many days of class to justify staying in one, so asked my mentor if I could take the block off. She suggested I do an independent study and offered to be my tutor.

So, I designed a course that consisted of reading literature related to my Question that I hadn’t had the chance to read before. I created assignments to help myself understand the material, but also as a means to start on my keystone (more words of advice: START KEYSTONE EARLY). I had the chance to read books I scheduled for my first week while in Mexico and ordered the other books I needed through our interlibrary loan program since they were not available in our library.

Upon seeing the courses offered for next year, my mentor and I decided to incorporate a Qualitative Research Methods component within this block so that I would not have to take an entire class on it later on in the year.

Everything I am doing in this block relates directly to my interests. I created a timeline that would work best for my schedule while being aware that I would need to work for the Admit Event and perform at Cabaret this weekend and have Dancing Bear (wonderful music festival organized by students every year). this upcoming weekend, not to mention graduation events throughout the month.

I meet with my tutor multiple times a week, have time and space to work on my own academic and self-selected interests, sit in the sun and read while others are in class, and/or work from home.

It also means I feel no guilt in partaking in fun events happening around campus, such as eating ice-cream cookie sandwiches:


I’m so grateful to have had the chance to not only design my own course, but have support in working through all of my readings and assignments. I will definitely be reflecting on more ways to have independent studies in the future.

*Disclaimer: the cover image for my post may seem unrelated, however I think it is perfectly related, because independent studies provide us with a time and space to put our interests together in a way that would not occur for a larger group of individuals. Therefore, a guinea pig wearing glasses is totally related to my interest in writing this blog post and therefore the image can be used to showcase a sampling of how independent studies allow you to incorporate your interests in a unique way.


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