A good role model is also not perfect; he or she is “genuinely human.” Those last two words I read in Students Helping Students, a required book reading for my Principles of Peer Leadership course, which is mandated for all new Resident Advisors at Virginia Tech.


I loved that phrase so much I wrote it down on a piece of paper and taped it above my desk, so it’s always in sight. I am starting to find that this not only applies to my duties and responsibilities as an RA, but to all facets of my life in general.


I feel empowered to be in a position that others (residents, in my case) view as a position they respect and look up to as a mentor. Part of being a positive role model, though, relies greatly on having an understanding of who you are and your limits.


-Part of being a role model, though, relies


Self-reflection is incredibly crucial to self-understanding, which I see as an opportunity to look critically and introspectively at what makes me, well, me and how I got to where I am today.


What is self-reflection?


Self-reflection is the process of creating clarity when it comes to how you view yourself. It isn’t an opportunity for you to bash yourself, but look at all the unique qualities that make you the person you are, and what led you to develop those qualities.


When it comes to my personal self-concept, I have a habit of doubting myself. Doubting myself in situations where I have to make a decision, and doubting my abilities to help my residents if they are in a tough situation. I put myself under intense pressure to be there for my residents, which definitely qualifies as a pursuit of perfection.


How does self-reflection connected to being a role model?


When talking with my residents, I make an effort to demonstrate the behavior I want to see them exhibit. That means making self-reflection a meaningful constant in my own life.


My self-reflection over the past month has made me realize and learn a lot more about myself than I anticipated. I recognize that I have a tendency to second-guess and waver before making a decision. I also crave alone time and the peace and quiet of solitude. These qualities are all examples of my humanness, and recognizing that is the first step to successful and meaningful self-reflection.


According to Harvard Business Review, self-reflection could be something as significant as daily journaling in a notebook or as mundane as brushing your teeth. Hey, you could even do some self-reflecting while brushing your teeth! Whatever method you decide, make self-reflection a priority and embrace your genuine humanity!