A Semester with Interdisciplinary Studies

At first, Interdisciplinary Studies was scary for me, as a senior and I was coming into something new on the first day of what was supposed to be my last first day of school ever. Being a senior you never envision having no idea what you are going to graduate with the summer prior to school beginning. IDS was my answer, I would be able to graduate on time and leave Plymouth exactly when I planned so four years ago. IDS was an escape for me, I was not sure about any of the program, I just knew it would get me back home in Massachusetts exactly when I wanted to be. Throughout the semester, even within just the first few months, I knew IDS was going to change my original picture of what I was going to accomplish with this degree. Coming into the September month, knowing I was starting an entire new program, I had no idea what to think of the Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies class except that I knew I was going to be taught in a whole new way with a new outlook on the way education should be taught. Back in August when I started to think about taking the path of IDS, I was not fully sure on what interdisciplinarity even meant. I went into this knowing that I would somehow morph different subjects and different classes to make a major that suited me, however I still was unclear about what interdisciplinarity really meant.

Throughout the semester, I was able to expand my knowledge about how prevalent interdisciplinarity is in today’s society without even realizing it. I now define interdisciplinarity as being able to combine more than one subject or option and morph them into one bigger picture. For example, I used biology, psychology, health education, physical education and nursing all to make health science. One quote that has stuck with me since I read the article is from the article “Big Terms” it states, “’Interdisciplinarity’ is more like a fruit smoothie, where the disciplines are blended together – integrated – to create something

CC BY Duncan C

new.” During the semester we learned a lot about different aspects of IDS, one being the quote stated above. I can relate this to my program I constructed because I have many disciplines that I combined to form my major. Another portion of the semester that I took a lot away from for my major was creating a Personal Learning Network. This assignment allowed me to expand my resources for those in health care fields. I was able to reach out and retrieve more information about health than I would have been able to in a normal classroom. The last piece of this semester that has stuck out to me the most is the portion of learning that is publishing to the web. I have never experienced this type of learning before however, I thought it was a great asset because all of my work the entire semester was right in front of me all in one place without any hassle. Plus making an ePort has helped my confidence in writing anyone can take a look at and critique my work.

Interdisciplinarity matters to universities all over the world because we use it every day without evening realizing that we are doing so. Majors that are technically not interdisciplinary per say, still use interdisciplinarity because they have prerequisites that are through different disciplines although they are not actually in the major, they still are required to take classes in other departments. As for PSU, I hope students in the future become more aware of what great of a program IDS is. I feel as though there is somewhat of a stigma with IDS because not everyone understands what we learn or how we can make our own majors. I hope within the next few years students can understand the benefits of the IDS program at PSU.

CC By Blake Gumprecht

As for me, my hope is to soon be accepted into an accelerated 16 month bachelor of science to registered nurse program down in Massachusetts. My goal is to be a nurse in Boston by the end of the next 3 years.

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4 thoughts on “A Semester with Interdisciplinary Studies”

  1. This is almost exactly how I felt coming into senior year without a clear picture of what my major was. It’s so scary not knowing after spending a lot of time with a plan as to what you think your life will be. I agree with you that over these last few months my ideas about what this program was have changed for the better. I’m actually glad that I was basically forced into it as well. As you go on to being a nurse you’ll benefit from all the skills you learned throughout this class about integrating ideas and problem solving! Good Luck!!

  2. Heather,
    I had the exact same outlook towards IDS as you did in the beginning. I was really unsure about what I was getting into and it honestly terrified me. Being told I wasn’t going to be a nurse was something that I had to accept and IDS really made it a lot easier to do that. I agree with you when you say that IDS has a stigma attached to it. I think a lot of people tend to shy away from IDS because no one is really sure what it is. I think you have an extremely positive outlook on what IDS did for you and also how you can use it to your benefit when you start your accelerated nursing program. Best of luck!!

  3. I was exactly the same way at the beginning of the semester, just starting a new program and trying to get back to Massachusetts. The program opened my eyes to a whole different side of learning and allowed me to become more well rounded. For the accelerated RN programs that you are talking about there are these direct entry nurse practitioner programs offered in Boston that just require a BS in science and you come out after about 18 months with both your RN and Nurse Practitioner. Just something to think about 🙂

  4. Please do NOT forget to keep me posted on what your next step is. I have total confidence that you are going to be so happy and successful over the next year, and I can’t wait to watch the story unfold! Post here when you can– your experiences will be worth documenting!

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