I listed equality, justice, leadership, opportunity, and competence. My personal belief in social justice has lead me to major in political science, as I believe that government can be a positive force for social change in society. While doing this exercise, I struggled to rank equality and justice. While I believe strongly in social equality, I struggle with the ideal of economic equality that is commonly advocated for in social justice communities. I am a capitalist and believe that economic equality is completely implausible. I reconciled this divide by the inclusion of the value of opportunity. If everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed, I could consider the result just, even if the results themselves are not equal. These three values, justice, equality, and opportunity, encapsulate my personal, academic, and career goals.
My other two values were leadership and competence. It is imperative that anyone I were to work with would be competent. Unfortunately, patience is a weakness of mine. In group projects, if another member was unsuccessful in completing their assignment, I tend to become frustrated and redo the task myself. I would generally consider myself a leader. However, after joining the SPA Leadership Program and the AU Honors Program, I encountered many other leaders. At first, it was an adjustment to work with other dominant personalities. However, I have begun to learn when to step back and when to step up in a room full of leaders. These two values shape how I function in academic and group settings.