This semester I am enrolled in a handful of interesting courses. Besides my Intro to Interdisciplinary course I am also enrolled in Personality (PS3340), Stress Management (HE3200), Drug Behavior (HE3700), Mathematics and the Humanities (MA1500), and History of the English Language (LLDI2500). Sometimes it can be difficult to find relevancy in the material as it pertains to my major but there is still a substantial amount of information I received this semester that I found to be beneficial. In this post I am going to outline two different ideas that I learned about or expanded my knowledge on this semester that I feel can be integrated into my major of Patient Advocacy.
The first idea that I want to discuss comes from my Stress Management course. In this class we learn how to develop proper coping skills for stress, set intentions for our future, change our perception of the world, and define our dreams. For a recent assignment I had to watch a TED talk called Generation Stress, in this video Kristen Race discusses all of the stressors surrounding us on a daily basis that we have to deal with and how it affects our body and mind negatively.
Race mentions how our brains go into survival mode because of the factors affecting us daily but small acts and minuscule changes in the way that we think have the ability to get us out. One of the small changes is to just recognize your positive experiences throughout the day, no matter how small they are, because it can improve your happiness and reduces the chances of burnout. As Race stated, it is so easy for us to find the negative in our lives, but forcing ourselves to find some of the good can improve our thinking and mood immensely. Another small change that she talked about is just performing a simple act of kindness every day or even witnessing one, this can positively improve our mood and change our way of thinking. It is these simple practices of finding the good, reframing challenges, and practicing kindness that allow you to appreciate things in life more no matter how imperfect or hectic your life may be in the moment. This connects back to my major because as a Patient Advocate I will be handling a lot of depressing and difficult cases which could make it easy to fall into a negative outlook on the world. I can incorporate these small changes that she talks about in order to view my day to day life more positively and prevent burnout.
The second idea is a lot broader and comes from my Personality course. This class we explore different psychologists and their theories regarding the development of personality. It is an online course so every week we read about a different individual’s theory in our textbook Theories of Personality by Duane Schultz and Sydney Shultz and then write a post outlining our opinion of it. At the end of the semester we are responsible for writing a ten page paper describing our own theory of personality. As the textbook states, “everything you have achieved so far, your expectations for the future, and even your general health are influenced by your personality and the personalities of the people with whom you interact.” All of the information that I have compiled from this course will help guide me in creating my own theory of personality which I can integrate into my major/career. There are no straight forward answers as to how we develop our own individual personalities but this course has given me a better understanding of what can contribute. Having this knowledge will help me interact and understand my patient’s situations better allowing me to take the proper steps to connect them to the proper resources and be the best patient advocate that I can be.
I love finding relevance in my courses as it pertains to my career because it makes me feel like I am not wasting my money and time. In the past, there have been many courses that I have taken that I struggled to find relevance in but sometimes this is a good thing. Taking a broad range of courses is great because you get to learn about a variety of fields and may even find a new passion. Although, being a senior moving into my last semester of my undergraduate career I have high hopes that the remainder of my courses are highly relevant to my career goals and will assist me in being successful.