Over this year before I start at FSU I have quite a few goals for myself, however some are certainly more important. The big three are: better social skills, autonomy, and an in depth understanding of the professional conservation field. I have other aspirations, but these are the things I will be primarily focusing on.
As of now, I am pretty sure I want to spend my life working in conservation. What I do not know is what job in particular I want; therefore, one of the things I am going to do to work towards this goal is talk to all the people I meet at the projects I work for to see what they do and how they got their job. Besides knowing what jobs are out there, am curious of what they entail. Is the work mainly white collar, or blue collar? Are positions mainly government, or private? What are the hours like? How is the pay (I kind of already know the answer to this one)? The biggest question I have about this career field is the predicted future effects of climate change. With the exponentially deteriorating condition of our planet, conservation will become more important, and more desperate so I want to know what effect that would have on someone working in conservation. This goal will mainly be achieved by talking to faculty at my place(s) of work and looking into the various organizations.
Going into University and for life in general, I am keen on improving my social skills. While I am glad to say I have been getting better in recent years, I still have a long way to go. One of the ways I will be working on this is talking to a greater diversity of people, instead of exclusively people I already know and am comfortable around.I like talking about ideas and details about things, which often leads to me talking a lot in conversations, so another way I hope to get better is talking less, and letting other people talk about things they want to, the way they want to.The last part of social skills I want to work on is being more positive and supportive. I come from a very sarcastic family, with quite the deadpan sense of humor. This (among other factors) has led to me being quite quippy and quick to poke fun at people, with friendly intentions, fully expecting it in return. Often times other people do not share this sense of humor and it leads uncomfortable interactions. The way I hope to remedy this is by making a conscious effort to be more supportive and be more positive around my friends.
During this year, I am aiming to become more autonomous. Of all my goals, I think this one will come the most naturally. Traveling alone will naturally make me more independent, but I want to make sure I am retaining all the things I learn, from keeping track of my paperwork, and important dates, to staying safe, to vocalizing my needs. To achieve this, I am going to write down all the things that go poorly, and later see how I should have approached them, or what I could do differently in the future.
While all three of these are ambitious goals, I fully believe that I will be able to accomplish them all to some degree. I look forward to seeing how I am progressing with them each month, and how far I have come this time next year!
Until next time, Owen Jackson