As a new college student, I am excited and a bit afraid to embark on this next step in my educational journey. Making the transition from high school to college is a huge step and a great accomplishment in my life. Although it may be challenging, I know that college is the next step that I need to obtain the skills and knowledge that will help me to reach my career goals. I will also be able to gain long-lasting, healthy friendships that will help me grow personally and professionally. Most importantly, being able to be more strategic, having a strong belief and communicating better will open me up to greater possibilities in my life and bring me one step closer to reaching my dream of being a surgeon and saving lives.

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My Signature Themes include: Individualization, Strategic, Significance, Belief and Context. Each of these themes will play an important role in my learning process in college and my career goals. According to Clifton, Anderson and Schreiner, The Individualism theme allows you to instinctively observe each person’s style, each person’s motivation, how each thinks, and how each builds relationships (1). The Strategic theme is a distinct way of thinking, and it will help me to solve difficult problems and search for different alternatives to help with problem-solving and planning my goals.

Significance means you want to be appreciated for your talents and strengths, and you also want to draw out those unique strengths in other people. Once I reach my career goals, I definitely want to be successful and admired for helping to save lives as a surgeon. My friends have always said that I’m “not afraid to showcase my talents and stand out from other people.” Therefore, the Significance theme definitely matches my personality and talents.

Clifton, Anderson and Schreiner describes the Belief theme as the ability to be family-oriented, altruistic, even spiritual, and to value responsibility and high ethics—both in yourself and others (2). So by becoming a surgeon I am able to practice what I strongly believe in and that is helping others and saving lives. Context requires one to look back in the past when you first developed your plans and career goals to understand the present. This understanding brings you confidence. One is able to make better decisions because you are able to understand past mistakes, learn from them and make better plans for the future.

The Individualism theme is an important trait to possess. By being unique, I am able to stand out in class among peers and on job interviews. Knowing the traits that make me different can be appealing to others, and it can also help me to discover unique characteristics in other people. This is one of the themes that I can get better with, by learning to communicate better with other people and being more independent can help open me to new ways of thinking will also help me to grow as a person.

The Strategic theme describes me the best. I’ve always been very strategic and detail-oriented when it comes to solving complex problems or helping friends with their problems. By looking for alternative ways to solve problems, I have been able to get myself out of complex situations. Also, being strategic has helped me to develop an education and career plan that I will follow throughout college to help me reach my dream of becoming a successful surgeon.

According to Clifton, Anderson and Schreiner, “our talents sometimes threaten others. Rather than admit their insecurity, some people criticize us for having talents they wish they had (21).” Significant is the theme that is most refined for me. I am not afraid like to stand out from others and be recognized for my accomplishments. Therefore, being significant will allow people to recognize my talents and possibilities to gain success. By using the Context theme to look by at my past plans and see how it all is coming into fruition is important to appreciating the journey that I began to reach my goals in life.

I strongly believe in helping people, and most importantly saving someone’s life. Therefore, the Belief theme is what pushes me to pursue my career goals. Because my belief in human life and the ability to help others live a better, more healthier life for themselves is so strong that I couldn’t imagine wanting to do anything else. I believe that life is precious, and as a future surgeon, I will have the opportunity to help someone, which means a lot to me. Therefore, the Belief theme is one that I holds the talents that I use most frequently.

Hopefully, through college, I will be able to become better and master these themes. I really would like to expand on my talents and get stronger in all areas, especially communication. By strengthening the Individualism theme and really taking the time to be open to other peers’ unique traits and talents will help me be a more open person and grow as well. By joining extracurricular clubs and participating in groups in classes, will help me to improve on my weakest talent, which is Individualism. This will allow me to grow personally and professionally by learning from others and being able to take constructive criticism.

Overall, I would like to become a well-rounded person. My greatest strength, the Strategic theme, I would like to continue to learn and master. By becoming better in this particular talent, I will gain even more knowledge and skills to carry over to my career goal as a surgeon. This book and class has opened my eyes to talents that I never knew I possessed and it also helped me to affirm my stronger talents in the Strategic and Significant theme. Overall, by having faith and believing in the gift of human life, I know that I will be a successful surgeon and save lives, which has been my passion since I was a little child.