Our lives as students are so complex and fast-paced that sometimes we lose track of what our true passions are. We think highly of successful people, and wonder what makes them special. Is it raw talent? Perseverance? At times, it may seem impossible to see ourselves in their shoes. Do we have what it takes to be successful?

During reading week, UTM’s Centre for Student Engagement attempted to answer that very question through a leadership boot camp. The boot camp’s goal was to encourage students to discover their passions and outline strategies to become successful.

The three-day event was based on the book Grit by Angela Duckworth.

According to Duckworth, “Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals.” Without either of the two traits, true success is never gained. To discover your passion, the first step is to look at your strengths and weaknesses. Your strengths should outline what your true passion is. The next step is the obvious one, but not the easiest—sticking with your passion and not giving up on it. That is perseverance.

Dray Perenic Price, the student development officer at the Centre for Student Engagement stated, “We want our students to deal with failures and adversity in a way that is positive, which can make them more successful.”

When faced with adversity, many of us don’t know how to cope, and we may lose focus. How we react to adversity shapes us in the long run, and impacts our grit.

“We tried some exercises so students can uncover what their passions and strengths are, so students can use this as a tool when they are going through a tough year and faced with adversity,” said Price.

According to Price, approximately 45 students attended the leadership bootcamp. The three-day event was filled with various activities to help students uncover their strengths, such as mindfulness exercises in the RAWC and workshops exploring strengths, goal-setting, and a growth mindset.

Sometimes having a talent isn’t enough for a person to become successful. Through this leadership boot camp, students have learned that your grit, good habits, and reaction to adversity is essential for your success.

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