Denise Camille Serrano
The Student Core Competencies are the building blocks in my learning experience. They offered the life skills that I needed to succeed as a student. When I learned about them in my first year as a Multimedia Production student, my first thoughts were “Well, that’s common sense.” From problem-solving to critical thinking, the Core Competencies are basic skills that everyone knows and can do. Only when I learned more about them did I realize that they’re not as easy as we think. There’s more to communication than just “talking,” and there’s more to teamwork & collaboration than “helping.”
If there’s one Core Competency skill that meant the most to me, it’s definitely communication. I grew up shy and timid, and it became worse when I moved to Canada. I don’t know anyone, and I’m still unfamiliar with speaking English so I get extremely anxious when I’m talking to someone. It came to a point that I didn’t even know who I was because I would always nod and follow along with everyone else. I told myself that I couldn’t go on like this, so I tried to get out of my comfort zone and forced myself to speak even if my whole body was shaking. It took years before I could finally open up, not just to make friends, but to be a successful student and intern at Lethbridge College.
I now speak up about what I like and don’t like; I give and receive honest feedback to grow; I openly tell people when I’m stressed out and need a rest; and I ask a lot of questions to learn and lend help whenever needed. I’ve not only gained communication skills, but also the other core competencies to help me become who I am today. This made me realize that Core Competencies are deep, lifelong learning that can support us not only as students but also as people.