In a previous article, we discussed that throughout your years in school, you'll surely be asked to write many reflective essays. A personal reflective essay sharing your thoughts and perceptions about a particular issue or experience you’ve had. Essentially, it requires that you stop and reflect on something in your life and what you think and feel about it now and looking back. The manner of writing a personal reflective essay is the opposite of that of articles, informative or expository essays – your personal thoughts will play the main role in writing. Regardless of who your audience is, it is your essay, your own reflection.
Here is an example of a personal reflective essay:
Realizing one’s potential despite the limitations. That is one thing I believe in. We often hear our elders say that it’s better for someone to have natural talent rather than to be a little less talented and rely on pure hard work. Honestly, I am not an academic achiever and so I make up for it with my willingness to learn. I choose to believe that in order for me or people like myself to survive and thrive, the keys are hard work, perseverance, honesty, patience, and loving what you do. I believe that hard work beats talent when talent does not work hard. I have been working at a fine dining restaurant for 7 years now and much to my happiness, I have recently been promoted to manager.
To strive continually to hold my own. The job of a restaurant manager seems easy enough and just routinely but work at a restaurant is never easy, regardless of your designation. Alertness, stamina, focus, patience, tolerance, people skills, and appreciation of manual work are just some of the things that one ought to have to succeed when working in a restaurant. As much as I love my job now, I can say that it was not always smooth. I began as a cashier. I had self-doubt and hesitation at first. I loved being at the counter, yes, but sometimes fatigue and weariness got the best of me. The responsibility overwhelmed me. But then it occurred to me that my role meant I was responsible for all the customers' money that was coming into the restaurant and one simple mistake could negatively affect the whole restaurant and the people whose livelihood depended on it. I also realized that my role as a cashier was no different from the roles of busboys, receptionists, waiters, chefs and line cooks, the security guards, the janitors, and the managers themselves in the sense that when one component unit of the restaurant workforce fails to do their job satisfactorily, the whole restaurant would definitely collapse. I always remind myself this now, especially that I now hold greater responsibility.
Sense of accountability. When I find myself in times of burnout, I just think - people rely on me, I rely on them, so we must not let each other down. It became a personal aim for me to not let all my workmates down. After my stint as cashier, I also had my share of work at the sandwich station and had some valuable experience at the food preparation area and at the maintenance unit of the store, which is responsible for taking care of the entire restaurant facility. During my time in those areas, I learned a lot which would undeniably not only help me keep the restaurant running and thriving, but also enrich my personal restaurant knowledge. Having knowledge of such translates into a personal advantage even when I am not working, especially people skills. I realized that I could make use of such knowledge when I am with friends or family or other gatherings, and the like. Also, who knows? Maybe in the near future all this knowledge would be of good use when the time comes that I open my own restaurant.
It’s not bad to dream. It’s never bad to be knowledgeable. I view my promotion to manager as my biggest achievement thus far, one of the highlights of my life, both professionally and personally. It would not have been possible were it not for my setbacks, realizations, little bumps, the lessons and the learned skills, hard work, patience, and of course, my colleagues who have always been kind and understanding. All that I have done, the sacrifices, they did not go to waste. Furthermore, I believe now more than ever that determination, hard work, willingness to learn, and patience will take a person where he wishes to go. But in spite of this accomplishment, I know that I still have a long way to go, a lot to learn and experience. I do not mind doing the cycle over and over as long as I know that I love what I do and as long as it will pave the way for even more personal growth and professional accomplishments.