Go Far, Go Together
In the spring semester of my first-year at Agnes, I applied to become a SUMMIT Peer Advisor to incoming first-years for the following 2018-2019 school year. This commitment initiated my pursuit of a leadership specialization that I have more recently declared along with my major. I felt the only way to build leadership skills was solely through opportunities sought outside the classroom; however, now that I am nearly completed with this fall semester, I have acquired an entirely new perspective on leadership, what it truly entails to be an authentic leader, and the fact that it can develop in any setting.
Physics 202, a calculus-based physics course I am currently taking, takes on a new approach to learning and leadership that I had never before experienced until now. There is a misconception as to what leadership looks like. More often than not, the imagery that pops into most minds is that of a single individual guiding a group of followers. I, too, once viewed leadership in this way. Fortunately, perhaps the most significant lesson I have taken from this semester after being a Peer Advisor and a student in physics 202 is the fact that leadership is not at the hands of one person – it is rather at the hands of a team.
In physics, our goal as a team goes beyond deriving the correct answers together. It is imperative for us to collaborate effectively so everyone in the group leaves feeling satisfied with the day’s hard work in addition to a craving for more. Throughout the course, we are required to submit written evaluations of everyone in our group to award any praises and recommend constructive feedback on how to improve. Since the initial evaluation, my team has noticed a considerable improvement in our abilities to collaborate effectively as we each have discovered the significance in understanding the material outside of the classroom as well as unearthing the responsibility we each play in one another’s success.
Of the feedback I have received from others evaluations of me, I have realized that communicating my thought processes, even if they are not on the correct path, are important to share. Verbalizing why an approach to a problem is correct or incorrect is essential in the scientific process and reiterates the significance of patience and sincerity – the roots of an authentic leader.
As we progress further into our academic careers and diverge into our fields of interest, I know that my team members and I will maintain a solid definition of leadership in that it is not exercised by a single person, but a multitude of people who all share a common goal to prevail together.