Reflection & Review - critical tools in your super curricular exploration
Keeping a Reflection Log
Engaging with your super curricular activities is a great way of enhancing your university application. However, you need to remember that just reading a book or listening to a lecture does not automatically make you a more competitive candidate. It is important to do the right kind of activities and be able to reflect on what you have learnt and what skills you have acquired.
Reflection is perhaps the most important part of your super curricular activities. It shows important skills such as independent thinking and the ability to draw abstract conclusions, as well as commitment to understanding the subject beyond the syllabus.
We recommend that you keep a reflection log. In your account on My Super Curricular, you have a reflection log, but if you do not have access to the platform, this could be in a notebook, notes on your phone or a folder on your computer. Write down relevant activities, books you have read, events you have participated in, and what you have listened to or watched.
After completing each activity, try to answer the following questions in detail:
What did you do and when?
What was the main argument? What key theories were discussed?
What further questions did it raise?
How was your perception or view of the subject changed? Does it confirm or deny any theories that you have read or heard about?
What did you agree or disagree with and why?
What skills or understanding were developed?
What could you do to explore the questions further?
The answer to these questions will form the basis of the reflections and potentially even themes of your personal statement. We cannot emphasise enough the importance of reflection in your super curriculars because of the value it brings in displaying your academic abilities. Try making your notes straight after you finish the activity to record your most immediate conclusions, which tend to be more insightful and valuable.
Cambridge University has a great piece showing how 4 members of the academic staff critically review and reflect on the same short story. Use this as an inspiration for your reflections.