Self-Awareness for Students: What, Why, and How
Have you ever heard of the term ‘self-awareness’? Usually the term appears in content related to self-help. Self-awareness means having an understanding of your how you function as an individual.
How much time and effort do you spend studying motor vehicles and the engineering inside of them? What’s the point of doing all that? The point is to understand how they work so you can build a machine that can be better, faster, and more efficient.
So why not think of yourself in the same way? Why don't you try to understand what drives you, and use that knowledge to build the best version of yourself?
Personal growth like that is a lifelong process, but it all starts with self-awareness. That is the first key component that needs to assembled.
As a student in a higher education institution, right now you are in a very unique stage of your life. Your eyes are starting to open up to what the world has to offer. You’re discovering what you're very interested in. You are getting a feel for what kind of career you will have one day. Also, you are meeting people from all walks of life, some of whom might end up being your lifelong friends.
In essence, you are setting the stage for the rest of your life. Because of that, you are now in the best time to start working on developing your self-awareness.
There are plenty of ways to developing this sense of self-awareness with many books, videos, and articles available online. What I will do in this particular article is to give you a simple framework to start with.
Grab a pen and paper, and prepare the four following sections:
1. Pick a section of your life to think about ("What's your topic?”)
It’s always wise to reflect on one topic at a time. For the sake of this article, we will use your social life as an example. When you entered college, you discovered that you got along well with a certain group of students in your class. Soon you noticed that these individuals are not very good students. They are always late, they do not finish assignments on time, and they often skip class.
2. Write your thoughts about it ("What do you THINK about it?)
In the second part, write your thoughts about it. Not your feelings, only your thoughts. In this case, your mind tells you that you shouldn’t associate with these students because they are a bad influence on you and your studies.
3. Write your feelings about it ("How do you FEEL about it?")
Next, write a little bit about your feelings. Soon, you feel that even though they are not good students, your heart tells you that they are good friends and they make you happy. Here, you'll start to notice that your thoughts and feelings are two separate things. Sometimes they agree with each other, but in this case, sometimes they are slightly different.
4. Plan your next step ("What are you going to DO about it?")
After considering your thoughts and your feelings on the topic, you need to decide what you are going to do about it. In this case, you can decide that you may spend less time with these students when it comes to classroom hours. Instead, you'll spend more time socialising with them outside of class.
This is one simple example of the process. Reflecting in this way allows you to develop a sense of self-awareness and understanding. It’s a continuous process, so don’t worry if it’s challenging at first.
Once you get the hang of it, the skill never goes away. Understanding how you function and what to do about it helps you make better choices for yourself, so you can live your life to the fullest!