Celebrations: Open Minds/ Perseverance: One of my proudest skills I built this semester was my growth of open mindedness. Last year while signing up for electives, I decided to challenge myself by taking harder classes. Putting astronomy as one of my top choices. I walked in the first day of class only to see one other sophmore in the class! I was terrified and almost talked myself out of the class, but realized that I wanted to dive deeper into my learning. I used perseverance and stayed with the class. Since I decided to stick with the class, I kept an open mind and took in everything we were learning. A specific outcome of my open mind is the first test that I took in this class. I only missed .25 points on this test! I was honestly super surprised with this score, because before this test I was sort of stressed and second guessing myself. But because I had an open mind and was excited to learn in this class, I did well on my test.
Leadership: This year I took the challenge of being our school’s Interact president. This year for our international trip we decided to work hand in hand with a rotary club in Mexico. For this trip realistically we would need to fundraise $900 for everyone to go for free. We have really tried to raise money by doing various fundraising things such as bake sales, selling goblin insurance, and hopefully doing a dinner and movie night at the school. One of the proudest things that happened was when we presented to LPEA about them donating some money from the roundup funds. We had to go in and present last Monday about our trip and the logistics for the trip. Originally we asked for $1500. I was nervous because I didn’t think they would give money to something that didn’t involve local projects. But in the end LPEA gave us $1750 dollars for our trip. I am really proud about this because now we have $2570 in the bank for Interact. This is almost 10x the amount we had last year. I have never felt prouder of our club and I hope some of this success is from my leadership skills I am developing.
Areas of Growth: Stress Levels: This semester I have realized how much more my stress and anxiety levels have gone up. This is because my level of expectation for myself went up as well. Since freshman year, I have done pretty well in all my school work and so my expectation for my schoolwork went way up this year. Which in most cases is a good thing, but I began to stress over the smallest classroom activities. It was manageable for the beginning of the school, but got worse by the end of the semester. This can be seen in The Things We Carried Socratic seminar. Not only did I get a lower grade on it compared to my earlier seminars, but I also felt that it didn’t go as well as it could have. I had a lot of stress the last week of classes, and wasn’t feeling well because of it. So I wasn’t focused on what was going on and didn’t mentally prepare for seminar as well as I had in the past. Usually I annotate and make note of what I want to say, my mind was all over the place and I was super stressed about the tests and final projects that I had to complete. A way I can work on this is by making sure I have time outside of school to take a few minutes to just relax and calm down. Now I understand that there will be times during school that I will inevitably be stressed but 24/7 is not healthy at all. I need to remember it is so important to make sure your mind is in a healthy state. I have seen my grades and my pride in my schoolwork.
Extrinsically motivated: This year I have really noticed how extrinsically motivated I have become. Grades are very important to me and honestly, they have sort of become the center of my motivation. This is evident in my emails with Summer at the beginning of the year. I would email her about my grade and how I can improve it when it was at a 92%. This made me become way more stressed and I lost sleep over the fact that my grade wasn’t above a 94%. I want to get away from this habit because I think that it is much better to care about interpersonal growth rather than a number in the grade book. I became obsessive over these numbers and I would check the grade book at least 10 times day. I want to get to the point I was at in middle school again, where I put a lot of effort in to my work but I wasn’t worried about what grade I got on the work I did.
Question: One Question is… How can I improve my stress levels while still keeping my urge to dive deeper into the content I am learning?