Learner, Leader, Student Essay
Certain life experiences and events have shaped the way I perceive new ideas and handle situations. Within the categories of Learner, Leader, and Student, I possess different and exceptional qualities that help me excel in each area. Each encounter with the new and unknown has aided my growth of becoming the Learner, Leader, and Student I know I can be.
In the Learner category, I find that although I am stubborn, I never give up on a task until it is completed. During my high school career, I was on the Poms team for all four years, but the tryout for the Freshman team was nothing less than nerve-wracking. Coming from junior high to high school, there was a spike in the number of girls trying out for the freshman team. For the tryout, we needed to show the judges our triple pirouette and switch leap, which we needed to show the proper technique and execution for each skill. Prior to the tryout, I had struggled with both skills. After school, I would go to the dance studio and spend an hour practicing my skills with another friend who was also trying out. We would watch and critique each other, giving tips to improving our pirouettes and leaps. Afterwards, I would spend another hour or so practicing in my basement on my own. Over the course of about two weeks, I noticed a sharp improvement in my skills and felt more confident in my ability to do well at tryouts. When the time came for tryouts, I confidently went in front of the judges and perfectly executed all of my required skills. The next day, I received a letter that informed me I had made the Freshman A Poms Team. I aspired to be a part of the Poms team at my school, and my learning and dedication paid off in the end. The hard work I put in to making the team portrays my ability to be a proper and driven learner.
One goal I have set for myself in my learning and growth of being a Learner is to not let my stubbornness get the best of me. Many a time I have found that I will get fed up with my failures and create a negative attitude for myself, causing me to set myself back with my goals. My will to succeed is high and I am very hard on myself when I don’t succeed within the first several tries. Although I know that success doesn’t come fast, I feel as though my willpower and determination to learn the topic at hand help me excel in the subject quickly. Being a hands-on learner, overcoming my stubborn characteristic will help me achieve my goal of becoming a more relaxed Learner. I place a lot of pressure on myself to succeed, creating my stubbornness. Placing less stress on succeeding will help create a better, easy going, learning environment.
Looking back at the Leadership positions I have held, I recognize that I have made some great accomplishments while also learning about myself along the way. One of my first Leader positions was in the fourth grade when I was elected Student Council Vice President. It was the highest position a fourth grader could hold in the Student Council. I assisted the Student Council President with activities for our school (it was only fourth and fifth grade students) while creating ideas for new groups and clubs in our school. We organized food and clothing drives while also keeping up school spirit. In that position, I realized my potential of becoming a great leader. I enjoyed organizing activities and talking to the entire student body to hear their opinions on what they would like to see around school. That position taught me the basic skills that were needed to be a leader. Moving through the rest of my grade school years, I held other numerous leadership positions. Being the team captain of my poms team from sixth grade through freshman year, I learned other and more advanced leadership skills. Cooperation with others, listening to everyone’s voice, and communicating effectively with others were some of the leadership qualities that I learned over the course of my grade school years. I was able to take everyone’s opinions into consideration and create a relaxed and dedicated learning environment for myself and my teammates. I pride myself on how I was able to listen to the voices around me and bring our team together to form a close bond.
One aspect of being a Leader that I could improve on would be to not let others get the best of me. Often times I found myself not being as brave as I could have been in a leadership position. I found it hard to address specific problems within the team, as I am not a fan of telling someone that they are hindering the team’s progress. I tend to shy away from confrontation. In the LSP 320 course, I hope to learn how to properly address problems and learn how to not be afraid of confrontation. I would like to become a braver Leader so I can further my group’s progress and create a better environment for everyone involved.
As a student, I pride myself on my work ethic and drive to learn. As a hands-on learner, I find that I am able to get more involved in the learning process. Needing to do things for myself in order to learn, I was able to get a firmer grasp on difficult concepts, dedicate more time to study, and become more familiar with the topic at hand. I always gave myself ample time to finish my homework and study for tests while setting academic goals for each of my classes. Setting goals at the begging, middle, and end of the semester for each class helped me stay on track and maintain a scholarly attitude towards my schoolwork. I was able to keep my grades up on top of being on the Poms team, which required numerous after school practices throughout the week, and having a demanding job on my days off from Poms. In high school, I found myself challenged as a student when I added AP and Honors classes to my schedule. I realized that my work load would increase and that I would have to dedicate extra time to schoolwork, but I enjoyed the challenge. At the end of my senior year, I maintained my 4.1 GPA and graduated with many challenging classes under my belt. I properly prepare for my schoolwork and set high academic goals to better myself as a student.
One aspect of being a student that I feel I can improve on would be to accept failure easier. With math being my hardest subject, I would get upset when I could not figure out a problem as quickly as I had hoped. As I mentioned above that I am a somewhat stubborn person, failure would taunt my mindset and throw me off balance. I wanted to be able to achieve my goals and finish my homework while clearly understanding the topic, but I found it hard to keep going when I was having trouble with a couple concepts. My drive to succeed is strong, but I have problems accepting that there will be a few hiccups along the way. Any person would love to go through life without obstacles, but unfortunately they are a necessary evil. When I would get stuck on a certain problem for a while, I found that I would get so discouraged to the point where I would want to give up and throw in the towel. I want to become better at accepting failures, as I know they will encourage me to achieve that much more. Becoming a better student means that I will have to become more vulnerable to failure and critique, but I know that it will only better me in the long run.
Over the course of this class, I hope to learn skills in becoming more confident in leading large groups. I want to be a braver and more patient leader that is able to accept small hiccups along the way. This class will help my learning process and help me create a relaxed environment for the people I will be teaching. I hope the skills I learn in this class will enhance my role as a learner, leader, and student among my career at DePaul and in the real world.