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Discovering My 5 Core Elements!

Hi everyone! My name is Zainab Kazim and I am currently a high school student who is attending Illuminate’s Leadership Academy. With the Illuminate Leadership Academy, I had the pleasure of attending a Lecture conducted by Sam Thiara. During Sam’s presentation, his main focus was on Personal Branding and how one can be successful in transitioning into University! Something that he shared with us that resonated with me was his 8 tips on how to successfully transition.

8 Tips to Successfully Transition

1. Prioritize your time

This is very important since this is a skill I need to work on. I have learned that one needs to put their most important duties and responsibilities ahead of the non-important ones. For example, if you are known to procrastinate try not to do that and try to make a schedule so that you make sure to get your assignments done and out of the way so that you can still have time to enjoy the things you love to do.

2. Learn how to study

Studying is a skill that is needed throughout your education but the way you study often evolves depending on the level of your education. For example, going from elementary school to high school your style of learning and studying evolves since you go from having very easy tests with no studying required to having multiple hard tests where you have to study to pass. You need to find methods that work for you. A studying method that works for me is repetition and memorization. This is something that might work now but I might have to relearn new studying techniques later on which is something that one should always be open to.

3. Be organized

Another crucial skill is organization as mentioned earlier. Ways to organize oneself is to create a schedule and create allotted times in which you will work and times where you will have free time and watch tv or play sports. Being organized and having a balanced schedule will help you succeed and also allow you to not feel overwhelmed which brings me to the next point.

4. Manage Stress

Finding ways to manage stress can help make sure that your mental health is good. You should make sure to find things that make you happy and help you take your mind off stressful school situations. Find things you enjoy doing such as taking walks, doing yoga, or playing sports. Do the things you love to alleviate stress and also ensure that you are taking time to take care of yourself and your mental health. Making sure to take care of your mental health is very important as it can help you make sure that you are successful in your future career path.

5. A low mark is not the end of the world

Now, this is something that I think the majority of high school students need to hear since they feel that their self-worth relies on the mark they get in school. Us High school students need to understand that as long as you are learning from your mistakes and don’t purposefully try to get a bad mark it is not the end of the world if you get a bad mark. All that matters is that you are learning from your mistakes and your failures and continuing to grow.

6. Take your time choosing courses

Making sure to choose courses that you enjoy is very important as it can define the degree you will receive and also determine your future. Make sure to pick courses that you enjoy and would want to learn. If you pick courses that you don’t want to learn you won’t feel motivated to complete the work which will result in you being miserable because you are not enjoying yourself.

7. Help is available

Allow yourself to get help from others and don’t make yourself feel like you are alone. In University and throughout life people will help you when you need it don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help if you are struggling. This is a tip that I relate to since I often feel that I need to tackle issues all by myself and this often results in me feeling overwhelmed. I need to remember to reach out for help when I need it instead of overwhelming myself.

8. Enjoy the experience

Lastly, just remember that university is a new experience that you should enjoy. Make sure to get involved in the school and do things that make the experience fun!

5 Core Elements and Personal Statement

Sam also taught us about core elements which are things that define who you are. Core elements are something that you are not willing to compromise in your life or career. Sam left us with a challenge to create our own 5 core elements and this is what I came up with. The 5 Core Elements I came up with were Precise & Elaborate, Critical & Meticulous, Open-mindedness, Relationships, and Dreams.

The way I figured out my 5 Core Elements was by answering the following questions.

  1. What do you enjoy about your work and why?

  2. What do you not enjoy about your work and why?

  3. What classes do/did you enjoy and why?

  4. What classes do/did you not enjoy and why?

  5. What do you do in your social time and why?

  6. What do you think about it and why?

If you too want to figure out your Core Elements start by answering these questions and finding words that associate with your answers.

In addition to creating my own 5 Core Elements, I also came up with a statement that I am going to try to actively live by which is, “Change comes in many forms and no matter how challenging, continue to accept and embrace them.”

For more information on the Five Core Elements make sure to check out Sam Thiara’s post:

As well as providing us with these tips and information on core elements Sam talked about his life experiences and provided us with some valuable life lessons that I would like to share with you!

3 Valuable Life Lessons from being a Janitor by Sam Thiara

Although Sam Thiara had a lot of qualifications and University education early on he wasn’t able to get his dream job the first time around. He started his career off as a janitor but he realized that this isn’t a job to look down upon as people with this job title may not always be uneducated but rather new to the workforce. He always felt like he was looked down upon by nurses that worked at the hospital with him. Since then he has made sure to never treat others rudely or unfairly based on their job title. Sam has made sure to treat people with respect and kindness regardless of their job since he knows how it feels to be looked down upon. Whilst working as a janitor he was able to formulate some life lessons which he decided to share with us at Illuminate.

1. Do quality work no matter what

Even if you are placed in a position you didn’t want to be in, work hard and do whatever you can to ensure that you have completed quality work. Doing this will show others that you have a good work ethic and that you are open to change and tackling challenges even if you don’t enjoy them.

2. Talk to everyone regardless of rank

As Sam mentioned before you shouldn’t treat people differently if they have a lower rank than you. Always make sure to talk to everyone so that they feel like they are welcomed and are important in society. Always be kind and talk to others the way you would like to be addressed and be kind no matter what because you never know when you might make a difference in someone's day.

3. If you are open to it there are always lessons to be learned

Even in the simplest of situations, there are always lessons that can be learned. You have to always be open to learning new lessons no matter what, as they can benefit you in your future success.

Lastly, I’d like to leave you with a quote that Sam left us, “Obstacles are the necessary bricks on your road to success.” Remember that you are the person that is responsible for your success, so make sure to set yourself up for success and not for failure.


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