As an international student, the end of your freshman year of college might entail a flight back home to see your family, exciting travel plans or an opportunity to get involved in a research program at your school.
My best friends and I treat the summer as a great time to reflect on how much we have grown since beginning college in September. Freshman year is a blast, full of lessons, friends and acquaintances and stories that build maturity.
Consider creating a long list of activities and thoughts that you experienced during nine months of sweet and sour memories. It’s all about the little things you do every day that help shape and guide you.
Reflecting on them is a way to help yourself learn from your life experiences. Even more interestingly, you can explore the new limits of your perseverance, talents and many other aspects of you that you have never thought of before.
When it comes to self-reflection, think simple. You can tell your best friends back home about what you have learned from nine months being abroad. Your parents who haven’t seen you for a while will be more than happy to hear your reflection and see how much you have grown.
Sometimes, self-reflection will happen naturally in the process of answering family members’ questions. In my case, for example, I used dinners with my whole family to talk about how I arranged my class schedule, how I set up my daily habits and how I overcame my fear when speaking in front of my communications class for the first time.
A friend of mine chose to write a letter to her host family in America that reflected on her freshman year. Another friend told her stories and experiences as her school’s ambassador at a college fair in her home country.
Once you realize that self-reflection is an action that you can do anywhere, at anytime, you will not see it as a difficult task.
Your undergraduate studies allow you to hone your critical-thinking skills and do some self-exploration. You may not have that much time later in life to do so once you leave school and begin a professional career path.
My favorite professor once said, “Knowing yourself well is your power.” Let’s fire up your power, friends!