Interdisciplinarity is Life Changing

When it comes to interdisciplinarity, my views of this idea have changed greatly from the beginning of the semester. I was told to change my major to Interdisciplinary Studies because I kept trying to find the best combinations of classes I wanted to take but still finish a separate major. This was the best advice I received from an advisor. I honestly had no idea what the course would be like because the only information I had about the course was the fact that I was able to “create my own major”.

Photo By: Sebastien Wiertz

This alone is what intrigued me to change majors. Looking back, I thought we would make our own major and it would take the entire semester and that is what the course would be. I thought the literal definition of “interdisciplinarity” was building my own major, in fact I just thought that is all we would do. My education and thoughts towards Interdisciplinary Studies changed over the course of semester greatly because of activities and constant work we had to maintain. I would now confidently say the entire meaning behind interdisciplinarity is getting your education through making constant connections in different areas of disciplines. The idea that life and education are one in the same is exactly what was needed to understand the entire course. Every experience you come across in your life should be seen as an opportunity to learn and further your education through connections.

Photo By: Mackenzie Palmer

These connections are what advance your skills, knowledge, and experience in life. Throughout the course, there were many connections I made in my own path of education.

There are many areas in Interdisciplinary Studies that pertain to my major of Business of Health Promotion because of the self-motivational progress that is needed. One area of the course that truly helps my area of education is the networking that the class offers. Having a Twitter account solely for my domains is exactly how connections are made. A couple concepts that connect to my major are multidisciplinarity and interdisciplinarity. Multidisciplinarity is similar to a fruit bowl aspect. This means that the disciplines can be related but keep their own structures similar to the different fruits in the bowl. Interdisciplinarity is related to a smoothie because the disciplines morph and combined nicely together to create a bigger field of work. I honestly think my major could be seen in both areas but mostly multidisciplinarity.

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Photo By: Janet Hudson

The reason for this is because business and health are relatable, but hold their own structure separately. The connection between the two disciplines needs to be made by my own creativity where as other majors could combine without needing an explanation. Business and Health don’t go hand in hand as much as nursing and biology. I think understanding these two concepts are really important when it comes to the relationships within disciplines. Another area that I benefited from this course was Nissani’s, “Ten Cheers of Interdisciplinarity.” Nissani explains the rewards of interdisciplinarity as growth of knowledge, social benefits, and personal rewards.

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Photo by: Gemma Amor

I didn’t understand the material of this course until I realized how self motivated this course is and that I am in full control of my future from here on out. This is one of the biggest gains I’ve learned since being in this major and reading these posts. This relates to my education solely because before this course and education on interdisciplinarity, I had no motivation to excel in my education but understanding now that my education is my life allows me to really get involved in my knowledge and take opportunities that arise.

Interdisciplinarity is so important and needs to be recognized greatly. Many universities have taken this major on but many should continue to look into it. The reason Interdisciplinarity matters so much is because of the motivation and experiences it causes students to complete on their own. Too many college systems and major programs are looked as just courses to complete or something to check of the list. This is no way to look at an individuals education and interdisciplinarity forces the students to make their own decisions about their knowledge and this gives them the motivation and drive to want to complete the courses they are in and the opportunities that appear in front of them.

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Photo By: Tim Olson

This not only is why universities should get more involved, the world entirely. Imagine if every person had the drive they had in their education as some of the interdisciplinary students. I am not saying that people in other majors don’t have motivation and drive in their education, but a lot of students don’t make the connection of life and education until they have the knowledge that is offered in this course. If everyone took every experience in his or her life as a learning opportunity then the world could be a better place with much more production in general.

I am so happy that interdisciplinarity has passed through my life because I have found it coming into my mind everyday.

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Photo By: Michael W. May

Whenever I am feeling down or lazy, I am able to recognize that emotion and tell myself to continue and be present, be mindful. This self-motivation is solely from realizing my future depends on every opportunity I run into all day, everyday.

My hopes for the future are to continue to be mindful and present everyday, as well as take knowledge as a gift. Even if I don’t have a job lined up or a distinct idea of what I want to do as a career, I understand that motivation and the drive to succeed will not let me fail. So when it comes to the future I see myself using this path of education (life) to help others through health, promote healthy living, and potentially use business to do so because these are my interests and that is what intrigues me the most so I will follow it.

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Photo By: Adrian Smalley

I truly hope that Interdisciplinary Studies continue to grow and maybe even shape education as a whole at Plymouth State and honestly everywhere. Until this course, I had no motivation in my classes because I wasn’t interested or motivated and to think one course or choice of education changed my outlook so much is incredible. I would hate to see other students go through programs they don’t want to just because college is something to get through when in reality, they could complete the same amount of time and effort into something they love and are driven towards. I am taking early spring courses and for the first time ever, I am excited to indulge into the material and make connections as well as get the best experience I can.

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Photo By: Peter Voerman

My attitude change towards learning in general is the proof for myself that this path of education works and can change college experience for everyone. I am so thankful for this opportunity because I finally feel like I can create my own future rather than build it with instructions in a different language.


3 thoughts on “Interdisciplinarity is Life Changing”

  1. I love your post! I completely agree with most of your points especially when you pointed out that interdisciplinarity is so important because it allows students to be extremely passionate about their education.

  2. Really amazing post! You mentioned so many of the thing I talked about in my final and more all in a well organized response that’s somehow more concise and in depth then I could have. I especially like how you describe your own thoughts about self motivation. I am also in the same boat, not being sure about a specific career path, but I am not worried as long as I keep my self motivated.

  3. As soon as I saw this gem, “my education is my life,” then I knew this post was really going to be something so special. You move through such a compelling narrative about how your understanding of interdisciplinarity merged with your gradual awakening to your own agency in your learning process, and it’s just so inspiring to read. Thinking about how to help students see that college is not something to “get through” but something they live and own and can enjoy– it’s a mission for me and you’ve articulated it about as well as I’ve ever articulated it to myself, so THANK YOU! Please let me know when you post again so I can follow your work. So wonderful to have you with us in IDS.

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