Self-Awareness by Kingson Leung

Kingson Leung is the Associate Director, Marketing and Programs at Associated Students.  In this latest and final Spartan Voice by A.S. Blog, Kingson shares his story on Self-Awareness, one of eight Core Values in the Associated Students Strategic Plan. Read more about our organization’s values in the A.S. Strategic Plan here.

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” — Carl Jung

In the busyness of the day-to-day as a member of this beautiful San Jose State community, have you ever taken a quick moment to stop to ask yourself a simple question like, “Who am I?” 

The question in itself is broad and perhaps may elicit a greater reflection of the various experiences, identities, relationships, roles, positions, jobs, volunteerism, course of study, etc. that make up who you are and what you mean to the Spartan Community. As we near commencement season – whether you are early in your academic journey, close to graduation or reading this at any time in between – it is always an opportune time to reflect on who you are, how much you’ve grown and in what ways you can make the most of your experience before you graduate. 

The value of “self-awareness” held by Associated Students (A.S.) is deeply rooted and aligned with the concluding excerpt in our Mission Statement, i.e., “to prepare students as they move towards a thoughtful and purposeful life after graduation.”  

“What We Know Is a Drop, What We Don’t Know Is an Ocean”

Constantly in my higher education experience, I am reminded “You don’t know what you don’t know…” which holds true when I was an undergraduate student and even many years later as a staff and faculty member. In a learning environment where we are constantly striving to continuously improve and evolve our knowledge, skills, and abilities, new doors open as we gain higher levels of awareness. 

It has long been studied and postulated that students who are most involved with campus activities will become more successful academically and feel connected with higher levels of self-efficacy and belonging. (Source: A.W. Astin., Student Involvement Theory, 1984). If you are made aware that involving yourself at various levels consistently would help you through college, would you take the chance to be more involved? We sure hope so and are here for it! 

How does the A.S. cultivate and live out the value of “self-awareness” in what we do? Three main ways you can connect with A.S. are working with us, volunteering with us and engaging with us as part of our programs and services. 

  • When you work as a student assistant in one of our many departments as a part of A.S. such as Marketing, Transportation Solutions or Child Development Center, we invest in your development to practice transferable skill sets that can be used in your course of study and/or professional life. 
  • If you volunteer in one of our varied programs such as the Community Garden or as a student-at-large in an A.S. Committee, you get to intentionally work in teams that strengthen your personal leadership skills to develop your own voice in serving for a greater purpose. 
  • Lastly, if you’ve utilized services or attended events we offer such as the use of Clipper Cards, printing from our Print & Technology Center, or engaging  events like Fire on the Fountain, all of these programs are specifically designed to support and enhance student social and academic needs. 

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” — Maya Angelou

With the gained awareness of just a glimpse of our resources, is there anything keeping you from taking advantage of what Associated Students offers? If your response to this question has any form of self-talk that starts with “I can’t ____ (fill in the blank),” change the beginning of that sentence to “How can I _____ (fill in the blank)”. Your future alumni-self will thank you for shifting your thinking into a possibility mindset. 

As you go about filling the unwritten pages of your story, keep expanding on your many campus experiences. Doing so will not necessarily change who you are but rather allow you to be more yourself. Just that now you will have more awareness, tools and stories to share. Applying yourself will push you to grow and be more prepared and developed for a meaningful life after you graduate from SJSU. By then, when you stop and reflect again on the question of “Who am I?”… it is our hope that your self-awareness would have brought you to a place where you are proud of not only your accomplishments but also the journey and process you’ve taken to get there. 

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