Having come to IYRS directly after a traditional college setting was a larger shift than I was anticipating. During college I would spend the same amount of time a day or more on campus as I do at IYRS now, so I assumed it would feel more or less the same. The main difference I have noticed is that my attention is focused on one thing throughout the day now, as opposed going to several different classes a day and working on various assignments in between. I find it much easier to follow one process through at a time, as we do at IYRS, than bouncing around between lecture halls and labs.
My previous experience at college was a fast-paced environment full of homework sets and projects to complete. It never felt like I was truly on top of things, and led to a lot of stress. This sentiment seemed to be very common among classmates and led to an environment that lent itself to neglecting any kind of free time. While I found my time there to be rewarding and well worth all the stress and late nights, I find myself thankful to the learning environment IYRS provides. My favorite part of IYRS is there is a clear end goal, and it easy to see how the progress we make each day pushes us forward. In a traditional college setting the only real goal to work towards is completion of a short project or the end of a chapter, with no real end in sight.
One of my biggest hurdles so far has been realizing the new pace to my education. Coming from a fast-paced, hands-on engineering college where projects have a week to be completed and homework sets twice a week or more for each class put me in a mindset of frantic completion that sometimes forced imperfect work to be submitted. Our situation in Boat Building and Restoration is much different from this. We have such a long timeline with many checkpoints along the way that it seems, to me at least, that the pace is not as frantic. This allows the time for perfect work to be completed and falling a day behind to obtain this is more acceptable. This has started to put me in a new mindset of not constantly rushing for completion and taking the time to produce better work.
I find this new mindset much more satisfying and fulfilling. IYRS allows me to always complete work to the best of my ability, rather than being rushed to meet a deadline. There are days where I become frustrated with slow progress, but it is becoming easier to remind myself to slow down, make sure things are correct and know that that it’s okay to take longer to reach the next milestone.