Jean145 3 / 5 Jan 15, 2019 #1Writing Prompt: Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.(The Common App only allows up to 3,500 characters in the answer space)My role in a Model United NationsGoing through life's trials is like navigating our way through a dark room. Although we may be unaware of what lies ahead, we stumble on, trying our best to work with the limited knowledge we have gathered in our younger days. However, once in a while there will be a guiding light that shows us a new path; and as we follow that light, we come across experiences that will help us grow to become better individuals. In my case, I encountered it about a year ago when I took up the position of Under Secretary-General of Photography as part of my first ever secretariat experience in a Model United Nations conference.Having been in the MUN scene since 2015, this was a significant milestone for me. Never in my life had I envisioned myself taking on a major leadership role in an annual event, let alone on my university's campus. Of course, getting there in the first place had its own setbacks. After years of determination, failed applicant interviews, and working as a minor crew member completing miscellaneous jobs, I worked my way up from being a participant to an organiser. As my first time becoming Head of the Photography department, it acted as a launchpad that took me to greater heights, filled with new experiences and realisations about myself and my friends.Prior to this, I consistently doubted my own abilities and preferred to blend in with the crowd, foregoing my chance to shine for the sake of my own insecurities. However, being part of the secretariat helped to grow my inner seed of self-confidence. Like a plant under sunlight, I was placed in a nurturing environment that encouraged others to speak their minds. Gradually, I too became more outspoken and less hesitant to voice out my ideas. Being a leader also meant being independent and having good organisation skills. I took this opportunity to learn the ropes, from coordinating secretariat photoshoots to planning and producing the opening ceremony video. I learnt how to set my own logical and achievable objectives, all with little reliance on others. Consequently, I could produce work that matched the secretariat's sky-high standards as I was able to formulate clear-cut goals that my department could work towards, effectively preparing myself for the target-oriented working world.In addition, this experience shed light on some personal aspects I never realised I had. One of these revelations was the the fact that I was very emotionally-driven. I took constructive criticism from fellow secretariat members to heart and felt discouraged as a result. However, I soon came to terms with the hard-hitting truth that listening to what others thought about my work was a crucial component of self-improvement, leading me to change for the better. In fact, the harsher the criticism got, the more I pushed myself to produce top-notch work, which turned me from an emotionally fragile person to someone more resilient, never buckling under pressure or negativity. Due to the collaborative nature of our tasks, my friends and I also began to communicate more openly, allowing me to better understand their ideals and personalities which strengthened our bond.Although I encountered many unfamiliar things during this job, they helped with my personal growth and progress from a bumbling and nervous student to a proactive and well-prepared leader. For many of us, life is like a puzzle; the experiences we gather are the essential pieces we place together to reveal our hidden potential.Any feedback would be appreciated!