The Benefits

What would you do if your college English teacher was Taylor Swift and she expected you to achieve beyond the average on your assignments? Okay, so maybe my teacher is not Taylor Swift, but the resemblance is uncanny, in my opinion. Maggie is my instructor, and she is not Taylor Swift, thankfully. However, just as Taylor Swift had numerous boyfriends throughout her career, I had numerous assignments to complete for this class. The assignments are not a setback in my college experience but they have required a lot of effort and time, just as some of Taylor Swift’s boyfriends had been. Most of my classmates would argue that the podcast was the most complex, and more effort-required assignment, but I would say that it has been the most beneficial. You might be asking yourself “What is that and how is it beneficial?” but rest assured I will clarify it for you.

I expected English 101 to be like high school English but it is not (future reference for you incoming students). English 101 classes at Western are different: they are composed of three lengthy projects. One of the projects was a podcasts, which is an audio recording. Audio recordings do not appeal to me, because I had to record myself speaking. Podcasts require a lot of attention, you have to record, and edit. My podcast was about the difficulty behind students receiving their financial aid awards, because this occurred to my friend and I. Hopefully you will not struggle.

While I listened to the final product of my podcast, I reflected on the skills I achieved from creating it. I am definitely no expert in Audacity now, not even close. However, my skills in the program did improve. Now I am able to put music in the background, remove background noises, and distort voices. Will I ever use Audacity again? Who knows, but I did manage to become more patient while working on it. The last time that I worked on Audacity, I had no patience, whatsoever. Podcasts requires a lot of work and patience; otherwise, you will get frustrated while making it. I wanted to make something reasonably good, so I had to be careful and take my time. I became more patient with the project and overall.

Another skill that improved through my podcast was my ability to communicate with others. Podcasts require interaction. I branched out from only talking to students; I interviewed the manager of the Financial Aid Office. I was able to get a better understanding of financial aid and a better stance on how to communicate under a formal setting, this allowed me to get out of my comfort.

I visited WWU financial aid page because I had to get my award handled. I communicated with the office via emails and calls, but the most helpful was when I physically went into the office. After doing my interview for my podcast, I found it easier going into the office. I am aware that not everyone will do their podcast about financial aid, but if you are struggling as I was you can reach the office at:
http://www.finaid.wwu.edu/client_services/pages/contact_us.php

I now feel comfortable with talking with people of authority at my institution, my podcast allowed me to get out of that comfort. I have gained skills through this and I am sure it will do the same for you.

A piece of advice for everyone; assignments might seem extremely complicated and overbearing, but it’s really not. At the end of any of your projects, you will have gained skills, just as I did through my podcast. Surely, these skills will allow you to thrive in college and in life.