Top 3 Skills
Updated: Nov 20, 2019
Seeing as I'm fresh out of high school, I'm still pretty green. My skills often fluctuate depending on what I'm focused on at a particular time. As I age my skills will expand, but as of now, these are my top three skills.
This is the thing I pride myself on the most. Some of the best advice I've been given is to "keep an open mind, but not so open your brain falls out." I've taken that advice to heart.
Being open-minded for me isn't about ceasing judgment all together. That's almost impossible, and frankly not helpful. I think being open-minded is more about the understanding that any judgment I have is just my one subjective opinion, and remember I'm just one person. Being open-minded helps me make better connections with people. People feel more comfortable opening up to those whose approach to difficult situations is more impartial and offers different perspectives.
It's also helped me step out of my comfort zone. In general, I'm a relatively introverted person, which I've definitely had to learn how to manage. For example, a project I needed to do for school required me to figure out a way to give back to my community. Part of me wanted to just pick up trash around my neighborhood and take the easy way out, but I ended up pushing myself, and I'm glad that I did. I started volunteering at a place within my community that helps impoverished people get back on their feet. The idea of being around a bunch of strangers in a place I wasn't used to was a little scary, but I just remembered that everyone there was an individual, and I didn't know their story. By taking this step, I was able to grow new relationships.
Outside of real-world experiences, I don't like keeping myself in an echo chamber of only my own thoughts and opinions. One of my favorite ways to be kept up with news and politics is through YouTube. My favorite online personalities are the ones I agree with, but I regularly watch people I disagree with but respect to have my views challenged. If I can still justify my views after hearing the other side I think they're worth having, if not then I'm not afraid to change them.
Ever since I was little, I wanted to learn another language. In middle school, we were able to do a self-directed project and I chose to learn the basics of French. By the time I got to high school, I had forgotten what I taught myself, but that was okay as I was able to relearn what I had forgotten.
At my school, two years of a foreign language is required to graduate, but I genuinely wanted to learn a language, not just get my needed credits. I took the full four years of French. I learn best through listening, which is what the majority of my class was Sophomore year, and had my most productive year of French. My mother took French up through college, so at home, we'll often have small talk in French. The summer before Junior year I hosted a French foreign exchange student. She would speak to me in French and speak in French around her friends that also came to the United States. She came from the south of France so it was interesting to hear her accent and speak about the culture and different grammatical elements of the language through a native speaker.
Unfortunately, I'm not yet fluent, but I'm still working to improve my speaking by watching refresher courses and listening to the normal shows I watch with French audio. This may help me in the future to expand my network to more people.
Whether I excelled in a class or not, my teachers always commended me for good work ethic. Public schooling was never my cup of tea, but that didn't stop me from working hard at it. I liked to complete things with diligence just to show myself that I could do it. Most of my classes I did well at, but there were a couple throughout the years that I just couldn't get the hang of.
My Junior year math class was one of them. I showed up to class every day, actively listened to all the lessons, took meticulous notes, and stayed after class when I didn't understand something. I still just couldn't get the hang of it. But my teacher commended me and said she wished everyone kept notes like mine and appreciated that I was still trying to learn the curriculum. In my efforts, I gained respect from the teacher, which gave me even more of a drive.
As weird as it may sound, I love taking notes on things I'm trying to learn. If the space around me and the place I'm taking notes is organized, it's much easier for me to learn. Whenever I go to seminars I take notes, or if I'm learning a new skill I take notes. It's a fun way for me to stay on top of things and learn better. Over the years I've learned more and more to be my own authority and take charge of how and when I want to learn. This has helped my work ethic with not only education but work and everyday duties that require initiative.