In this unit, I have learned a lot about Self Advocacy – the different ways in which I can present myself to sell my strengths. Some particular skills I learned are how to write a CV/resume that presents all of my accomplishments and my extracurriculars. In particular, I learned how to best explain my strengths in a concise manner, while also discussing the importance of my work. Creating a CV has helped me have more agency in choosing my future careers, it has helped narrow my interests and focus on exemplifying strengths that I think will be most relevant to a future career place.
By learning about my personal and professional relationships, Using effective communication methods to communicate has also helped me create more effective and meaningful conversations with others: some of these skills being pausing, paraphrasing, posing questions and body language. I want to focus especially on paraphrasing when there is any confusion. Understanding how to have difficult conversations, and roleplaying out different conversations with conflict has also taught me the importance of being polite and speaking with clarity and logical reasoning, as well as taking the time to listen to the other side and their arguments too! The relationship bank account strategy has allowed me to understand the significance of my actions and the conflicts that I may have in my own relationships in the future. This has helped me form my goals and targets in my own personal and professional relationships, and understand different methods I can personally use to adapt to conflict.
I have also focused on self-knowledge – understanding my interests, my personality traits and where I would see myself in the future. I have begun focusing on my future, and visualising where I would like to be in 5,10 years. I am aware that these plans will change as I progress in life, but I am content with the fact that I have begun the thought process and can see clear visions of myself in the future. THE Myer Briggs and Holand Code personality tests have allowed me to understand what I value and understand my own personality better. This has informed some of my decisions for the future and potential careers that I have an interest in. Previously, I had been living so much in the present that I hadn’t been considering things like career options and where I would like my relationships to go. I hadn’t been thinking of longer-term goals, as I had set so many short term goals for myself that I was getting overwhelmed. However, taking a step back and looking into my future has allowed me to set clearer goals, and understand different areas I need to improve on so that I can make these hopes and dreams a reality.
I think that by understanding myself and reflecting on myself, I have been able to make more informed decisions. Decisions that are made on the basis of my understanding of my interests and what I personally hope to achieve. I have seen that by looking into making informed decisions, I have been able to have agency in the decisions that I have chosen. I have felt at times overwhelmed with the number of choices I had available to me but gradually by focusing on my own interests and hobbies, I have been able to make the choices that I think best fit me. This has allowed me to make informed decisions on what potential careers I am interested in. A career to me is a job with responsibilities, and after this unit, I definitely think that understanding which careers would be of interest to ME is particularly important. I am aware that many individuals do not enjoy their work or their careers, and do jobs out of obligation. I think that because I, personally have the luxury of not being bound to career options, I really want to explore all of these and understand what careers would suit me and my personality.
This year, being in G11 has come with a number of challenges and accomplishments. I am very proud of how far I have come, in terms of managing my stress levels while keeping on top of my assignments. I have definitely found managing my different commitments and extracurricular activities, as well as my studies to be a challenge. Focusing on leading two of my activities, while also keeping on track of homework assignments and assessments have definitely meant that I needed to utilise every spare minute that I had. For example, the week where I had three assessments and also a board meeting (as I am the chair of HS Student Council) was particularly a difficult one, but by destressing and working efficiently in my free time, I think I was able to manage the week with success. I am really glad that I have been able to focus on some aspects that my Myer Briggs Test revealed to be some of my personality traits – like enjoying interacting with others and leadership. However, I do realise that my time management still needs to improve in the future, for me to allocate more time to focus on subjects where I am struggling in. I definitely still need to focus on subjects that I would like to improve on, such as Math. This would also help me in the process of making some of my hopes for the future possible, especially the future I had envisioned when focusing on my visualisation of myself in 5,10 years.
This year, I have also really worked on not underselling my strengths when talking to my peers and teachers. Previously, I had always thought that this wasn’t desirable as it made me seem very over-confident and arrogant. However, after the unit on self-advocacy, I have learned that understanding how to best present your strengths is very important for the future and I should be proud of all the achievements I have accomplished this year.
I am very proud of how I have been able to maintain my relationships with my friends and family this year, as well as create many more by interacting with different people in my classes. Given my experience so far, for the next half of the year, I would like to give myself the advice to take a step back and destress at times when I am the busiest and realise that my mistakes are all learning opportunities. By using the relationship bank account strategy, I would also like to focus on how to deal with conflict management and any issues that may naturally arise in a relationship. I had often ignored conflict in my life and avoided it at all costs, but with the new strategies I have learned on how to have difficult conversations, I hope to face these conflicts when necessary and learn from these experiences. One of my goals in achieving this is definitely focusing on my friendships and doing things that I enjoy in my personal time. This will help me in the process of self-reflection and forming personal relationships that allow me to be the best version of myself.