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Richard J. Light, a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, asks a seemingly ambiguous but important question, and breaks it down into specifics: “What does it mean to live a good life? What about a productive life? How about a happy life?” He hones in on the student specific question, asking: “How do I use my time here at college to build on the answers to these tough questions?” College is a time for personal and educational growth, a process that does not come easily. Students enter at age eighteen, barely out of high school and out of their parents watchful eye. Being thrown into a new world, a world where one has to figure things out for himself, is an experience based heavily on a generous learning curve. Then asking the respective eighteen year olds to decide how to live their lives, that’s absurdity! Therefore, Light created “a noncredit seminar at Harvard called ‘Reflecting on Your Life;’” it consists of allotted discussion time that allows freshmen to ponder their goals and “various aspects of their personal lives.” I wholeheartedly agree with Light’s progressive view in implementing this class. Exercises prompting college students to verbalize their thoughts and potential plans helps uncover the merit, or lack thereof, behind them. Light goes through the steps he takes in these seminars. His exercises range from questioning how students spend their time at college, deciphering what really matters to deciding a major, and even goes as far as contemplating core life values. The exercises induce much needed reflection. This reflection allows for free thought, leeway in wants and desires, and an eventual clearer path on “how to live wisely.”

I am a senior Computer Science and Cognitive Science student who is passionate about writing!
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