Through The Years
As a crusty old 4th year, I can’t help but reflect upon the ways in which Glendon has helped shape the person that I am today.
It seems like it was only yesterday. It was 2015 and I was a bright-eyed, 17-year-old first-year English major. I was thrilled to be starting university and thought that the possibilities were endless. I could get involved in this club or that club, I’m gonna have everything figured out by 4th year, and it’s just gonna get better and better from here.
Like many other journeys, there were some ups and downs and everything else in the middle along the way. I ended up switching majors and adding a minor before my 2nd year, went on exchange during my 3rd year, added the D-TEIL certificate in addition to my degree, and opted to do a 5th year.
Aside from my exchange, none of the above was planned nor did I ever foresee them happening. Life just sort of unfolded on its own.
Aside from discovering a love for Psychology and Linguistics (I used to despise grammar in high school but I literally spent an hour doing X’ trees of 5 sentences today before my ‘Syntax and Sentence Interpretation’ in my Modern English lecture tomorrow and I wasn’t even mad), I have to say that I’ve really grown quite a bit as a person during my time at Glendon.
The bright-eyed, optimistic, 17-year-old English major Ana turned into realistic (okay, still a bit optimistic because I’m a Sagittarius), 21-year-old Psych major/Linguistics minor Ana.
Ever since my 2nd year, I’ve been working for the Student Recruitment Office and learned valuable skills along the way, such as blogging, social media management, public relations, leadership development, finding my voice, telling my stories, and many more.
Had I not gone to Glendon, I probably wouldn’t have discovered just how much I actually enjoy these things. Maybe one day I can figure out how to marry my Psychology/Linguistics degree with my experience dabbling in Communications for Higher Ed.
Trying to find my niche in this world has been a process of iteration, for sure. I’m not sure where all of this will lead me but I can tell you that so far, I’ve been enjoying the process.
My Three Words
During our most recent eAmbassador in-service, we talked about leadership development. I never saw myself as a natural leader. Ever. I can be my own boss but leading others? Sounds fake, but okay.
However, I was wrong.
I was doing the concept of leadership a disservice by reducing it to the idea that only the charismatic, powerful, ambitious control freaks could do it.
I learned from our workshop led by director/leadership educator/martial artist/relationship strategist David Ip Yam that leadership requires a lot of self-reflection, awareness of your impact on others, collaborating with other people to accomplish change and many more.
In other words, there is a leader within each and every one of us. But before that, there are some key questions that we have to ask ourselves, like “What are you passionate about?”, “What makes you lose track of time?”, or “Who are you becoming?”
We then did an exercise in which we brainstormed our top three words. Three words of our choice – so hopefully we can live by them, and if one of the words makes us uncomfortable, how can we close the gap between who are now and who we would like to become?
My initial list of nine words was narrowed down to these three: Vulnerable, Creative, and Deliberate
My posts this year have definitely been more personal. From blog posts about my (mild) stutter to ones about my Filipino roots, I’ve chosen to make myself more vulnerable by sharing these stories to the world. These posts have met such positive response which encourages me to keep sharing them. Writing personal stories is scary but the fulfilment that I get knowing that it’s helped someone out there outweighs any initial fear that I’ve ever had.
Out of the three, this one makes me the most uncomfortable – believe it or not. Why? Because like the idea of being a leader, I never saw myself as a creative person in the traditional sense. I can’t draw, paint, sculpt, nor can I design a decent room for my Sims.
I used to scoff at people who had “aesthetic” Instagram feeds. After some self-reflecting, I realised that underneath my disdain for these innocent feeds was jealousy because of what I thought was due to a lack of any creativity within me.
Which is why I shifted to making my Instagram more “aesthetically pleasing” and I’m so much happier. It’s so much better to be on this side. And you know what? Maybe I am creative in different ways, as my friend Kiera noted:
To be seen as creative really meant a lot. Here’s to more creating and less consuming. #Minimalism.
Finally, I want to create things of substance. Even if most of my Instagram stories just consist of memes and seemingly trivial videos, they have a purpose. They make some of my followers laugh. If I can put a smile on someone’s face even just for a second, then I’ve given my contribution to the world.
Being deliberate also means doing things with purpose and being more careful about what kinds of opportunities I say ‘yes’ to. Despite the popular travel advice “Say yes to everything”, I beg to differ on this one in a more general sense. You have to learn when to say no for your own good. Only make room for things that align with what you really value and care about in life.
In What Ways Are You a Leader?
With that in mind, now it’s my turn to ask YOU a question: in what ways are you a leader and what 3 words come to mind when you think about the type of person you’re becoming?