First Bitter, Then Sweet: How students build character through adversity and experience satisfaction.
Writing a clear, coherent and persuasive college essay requires a combination of knowledge and skill. For some students it can be an arduous challenge. As a current student, I face this challenge on a nearly weekly basis. I believe that possessing character traits such as commitment, perseverance, discipline, and endurance can further help students meet this challenging task. In this essay, I explore the role that colleges and educators play in helping students to develop these traits.
There are arguably a variety of traits that an individual may use to overcome challenges. These may include resourcefulness, discipline, determination, etc. For the purposes of this essay, I focus on three traits: perseverance, endurance and confidence. I argue that these character traits are developed when individuals overcome challenges and obstacles independently and that the college environment contributes to the development and reinforcement of these traits in students by allowing them to function independently. To do this, I first discuss how these character traits are developed. I also explore claims, which indicate, that individuals who possess some of these traits may experience higher rates of satisfaction and fulfillment compared to individuals who do not posses these traits. Finally, I discuss the role educators play in helping to develop these traits in students. The conclusion of the essay discusses implications beyond student satisfaction and will provide consideration for educators and students about the possible benefits of holding students to higher academic standards.
Throughout the essay, I draw upon the work of three authors to support my arguments. The first author, David Brooks (2001), described how parents and colleges shaped moral character traits of Princeton students in the article, “The Organization Kid.” The second author, Lori...