At the beginning of my freshman year, I was able to participate in a first year program called JagVenture. This program was filled with team building exercises, inspirational speakers, and meeting a ton of new people. I enjoyed it so much that I applied to be a student leader this past semester. Being a JagVenture student leader was one of the best experiences I have went through in my college career. The bond that the rest of the leaders and I created is incredible. We started out as a formed group however, we ended as a natural group and most importantly friends.
JagVenture as a whole was focused on your strengths. As members, and as leaders we took what was called a strengths quest. According to strengthsquest.com (2016) the purpose of this was to help us discover out natural talents; then teach us how to develop our talents into strengths, and then apply these strengths during our experiences on campus. The goal was not to focus on what we struggled in, but to focus on what we excelled in. This is similar to what a growth group does. Growth groups generally stress self-improvement and the potential of human beings to live a full and rewarding life (Toseland, R., Rivas, R., 2012, pp. 24).
During JagVenture, the leaders did something called group meetings where once a day we all got together and discussed what challenges we were facing and what strengths we had to help us overcome them. This is where we opened up to each other, encouraged each other to not be worried, and helped us overcome our fears. We were all completely different people with different religions, different races, different cultures, and different backgrounds. To see us all come together as a w...
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...lling their own personal stories it was clear that we all had mutual needs and our main needs were friends we could count on and who understood us.
If I would have spent the last part of my summer any other way, I would not be the same person that I am today. JagVenture itself promotes leadership, individuality, and stepping out of your comfort zone. Being a leader allowed me to leap out of my comfort zone. I was able to befriend many of the participants and help them transition more smoothly into their first year of college. The real growth however, happened amongst the leaders. I loved being able to encourage everyone to do the best that they could and hear everyone encourage me as well. It was also great to gain eleven new friends who I would have never talked to otherwise. JagVenture changed my life as a leader, a person, and as a friend.
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