Visiting Boulders Beach

Alyssa Smith, a sophomore at the University of Alabama, discusses what she learned after taking the Strengths Finder assessment! Check out her blog below!

Before departing for Cape Town every student must take the Strengths Finder test on StrengthQuest. Through a series of questions, StrengthQuest is able to conclude what your top five strengths are. During class, we talked about our strengths and how we can use them during our trip abroad. I believe it is very important to realize what your strengths are and what you can do with them. Often, we look at our negative qualities without realizing what we are strong at. I learned that no strength is a bad strength and that everyone will have different strengths than you. Here is how I have learned how to use my strengths so far in Cape Town.

Developer: As a developer, I encourage others to do their best. I am proud of others when they make small improvements. So far, I have been able to encourage others to sign up for activities they are afraid to do or eat foods they are afraid to try. I get so excited when they have stepped out of their comfort zone because it makes me see they are getting the most out of their trip. I want others to get the most out of studying abroad as much as I do.

Positivity: Through this strength, I find positivity in every situation. No matter how exhausted I am I find a way to push through and keep going. When we went to see the African penguins at Boulder Beach, there was a torrential downpour and extremely windy. I just thought to myself that this is a once in a lifetime experience, and no matter the circumstances I am going to have fun!

Responsibility: I commit to activities and feel emotionally bound to follow through until it is completed. I relate this to my bucket list. You do not want to leave a study abroad trip with any regrets. I signed up for activities I never thought I would sign up for like skydiving and abseiling down Table Mountain. I have tried new foods like ostrich and other game meats. I want to be able to cross everything off my bucket list, and I will feel accountable to complete everything.

Empathy: By being empathetic I am able to feel what others are feeling and try to see the world through their eyes in order to share their perspective. I felt the most empathy when we were in the townships. Driving through I was so taken back and overcome with emotion when I saw the makeshift huts and trash covered streets. I could feel the sadness of the people who do not have much, but also their joy and love for life. They are so appreciative of every little thing they have. I tried to imagine life through their eyes.

Futuristic: I always imagine the future and it inspires me. On this study abroad trip I have learned to do the opposite and live more in the moment. I am always thinking about the future and often miss what is right in front of me. I have learned to be more aware of my surroundings and take everything in. At Signal Hill, Camps Bay, Cape Point, and the Cape of Good Hope I took in all the beautiful sights, sounds, and feelings. I need to be more appreciative of what is around me and realize how amazing of a trip this is.

Realizing my strengths has helped me learn more about myself and grow as a person. There are 34 strengths and a 1 in 33.39 million chance that someone will have the exact same results as someone else. Each person is unique and different, and has different strengths that they use in different ways. You can learn so much about someone by their strengths. StrengthQuest has taught me more about myself, others, and how to use my strengths during my time in Cape Town and the rest of my life.

Visiting Cape Point