HONORS 100 helps its students connect with their peers and with the opportunities available to them and lay out a roadmap for themselves. During my time in the class, I appreciated being able to solidify my foundation for future quarters, meet a community of other incoming Honors students with interests in a wide variety of fields as well as a fantastic Peer Educator, and synthesize a long-term plan for my university experience.

As an avid Google searcher, I had already done a lot of reading before autumn quarter to prepare myself as much as was humanly possible for what lay ahead. And yet I knew that I would still run into surprises in adjusting to my new environment. This knowledge appeared in my initial reflection along with a sketch of where I came from and where I’m going. Here’s the full piece — it’s hard to believe I wrote this less than ten weeks ago:

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The next assignment was to put together a full four-year plan filled with coursework and key extracurricular learning opportunities. My previous Google sleuthing certainly came in handy as I was sketching out my plan, but the more I filled it in, the more I realized how inevitable it would be that I would deviate from the exact plan as new information and opportunities presented themselves. (Indeed, already my set of classes for next quarter is slightly different from what’s in this plan.) The biggest takeaway, for me, was in learning how to view the four-year plan as a trajectory, flexible enough for me to be able to adapt as needed along the way.

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Besides asking us to look long-term academically, HONORS 100 also invited us to look beyond our university life to the broader world around us, considering the large and complex challenges of our world. The students were invited to a Global Challenges, Interdisciplinary Answers event where faculty from various corners of the university came together to discuss the difficult topic of health and poverty. We were then asked to write about some other global challenge in a similarly interdisciplinary fashion. For this assignment I built upon my interest in technology and society:

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Along a similar theme of looking beyond the classroom, the next assignment was to explore the wide variety of experiential learning opportunities available at UW. For this we met with a partner to discuss our interests and then identified some opportunities that would fit the other person’s interests well. Here’s what I wrote for my partner:

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Over the course of the quarter, I’ve adapted to a new school rhythm and become more a part of the Honors community. I’ve honed in on my trajectory for the future while at the same time leaving myself open to new opportunities. In my final reflection paper I describe my learning experience this quarter and what it means for my future endeavors:

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The paper above was an excellent exercise in reflection and I’m looking forward to continuing my reflective journey through the remainder of my time in the Honors program. The foundations set this quarter will serve me well during the rest of my UW experience.