Upon discovering that I was accepted into NUQ, I was thrilled to become a wildcat. Before attending orientation week, I blindly presumed that being a wildcat meant loudly cheering on our basketball team and taking a large number of impressive photographs; however, I was mistaken. One activity in particular made me see just how well-rounded wildcats are: the StrengthsQuest Session. StrengthsQuest is an online test we were asked to complete which assessed us as individuals and told us what our top five strengths are. We were then asked to think about how we could use our strengths in our university lives and in helping others. My results were as follows: learner, discipline, futuristic, harmony and positivity.
“You will always be drawn to the process of learning. The thrill of the first few facts, the early efforts to recite or practice what you have learned, the growing confidence of a skill mastered – this is the process that entices you.” When I read the ‘Learner’ portion of my StrengthsFinder Report, these sentences were the ones that struck me as particularly accurate. I could not have been more satisfied with this result due to the obvious fact that it would help me succeed in all of my courses; it certainly helped with choosing which courses I wanted to learn about during Dean Roth’s Journalism Overview/ Academic Advising Session. Absorbing the information taught in class would not only help me in gaining my goal GPA and the admiration of my professors, but it would also help me help others who do not obtain this strong point. However, simply learning what’s in the textbook certainly isn’t all there is to succeeding in university…
Discipline is perhaps the most essential element of being a student to me due to the fact that it will help me in one main aspect: time management. This strength will make me a valuable member of groups and teams (which is why I chose to be on the basketball team during the Activity Selection Session); I have the ability to help my fellow wildcats stay on task and “maintain progress and productivity in the face of distractions”. In addition to this, having order in my life will also help me carefully plan out my time so that I can participate in clubs, internships and – in the future – jobs rather than solely focusing my time on completing coursework.
“When the present proves too frustrating and the people around you too pragmatic, you conjure up your visions of the future and they energize you. They can energize others, too. In fact, very often people look to you to describe your visions of the future. They want a picture that can raise their sights and thereby their spirits – you can paint it for them”. This quotation truly inspired me. Having the ability to look towards what the future holds is grand and I am pleased to obtain this strength; I was especially grateful to be ‘futuristic’ during the Internship/Job Session where we were told about all the opportunities ahead. This strength will benefit me and others in the long run; it will allow us to work together towards our future goals and cooperate during our time as wildcats.
There was a segment of orientation week where Mrs. Lakisha Tillman spoke to us about how to cooperate with and respect each other; this Citizen Cat/ NUQ Rules Session allowed me to see how I could put yet another one of my strong points to use. Harmony is the belief that we can all work better if we keep our arguments and conflicts to a minimum and instead seek agreement and consensus. It was once said that “the news is what the consensus of journalists determines it to be”. When I applied to NUQ, the last sentence of my personal statement was that my dream is to become part of this consensus. This session really allowed me to see the importance of harmony in a consensus; positivity plays a significant role in maintaining this harmony.
The last activity planned for our orientation week was the March through the Arch. The NUQ Class of 2015 was the first class to participate in this Northwestern tradition. We began by having a small pep rally in the forum which filled us all with energy and excitement. As the rally came to an end, we began filing out of the forum and towards the Purple Arch that our orientation team had kindly decorated especially for the occasion. The minute I saw it, I realized how lucky I am to have ‘positivity’ as one of my strengths. As I marched through the arch with my classmates, I felt like this was the beginning of something magnificent. Maintaining a positive outlook throughout these next four years is one of my goals and orientation week has been a positive way to start it all off. I can’t wait to be a wildcat!
*Note: The text in quotations in the fifth paragraph was taken from the following source: ("Journalism facts - Freebase.com." Freebase - A wealth of free data. Web. 30 Aug. 2011. <http:// www.freebase.com/view/en/journalism>.). All other text in quotations was taken from my personal results on my StrengthFinder Report after completing the StrengthsQuest test: http://www.strengthsquest.com/