Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
FlourishonCampus HeroImage EdgeToEdge Concept Hero?width=719&height=464&fit=crop&auto=webp
FlourishonCampus HeroImage EdgeToEdge Concept Hero?width=398&height=256&fit=crop&auto=webp

Gifts: An Open Essay

Updated Published
The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Augustana chapter.

In the tapestry of human existence, there exists a curious phenomenon often overlooked: the traits we assume to be someone’s natural strengths are frequently the very qualities they lacked most glaringly or were denied the opportunity to develop. These attributes, like self-restraint, confidence, articulateness, and the ability to admit wrong, often belie a story of intentional cultivation and growth rather than innate nature.

Take self-restraint, for instance. It’s easy to assume that individuals who exude a calm demeanor and disciplined approach were born with an inherent ability to regulate their impulses. However, for many, self-restraint is a skill honed through conscious effort and perseverance. Perhaps they grappled with impulsivity or volatility in their youth, facing moments when unchecked emotions threatened to derail their aspirations. Through deliberate practice and self-discipline, they gradually learned to temper their reactions, cultivating inner strength in the face of adversity.

Similarly, confidence is often mistaken for an inborn trait, yet its roots may lie in a journey fraught with doubt and insecurity. Individuals who radiate self-assurance may have once grappled with profound uncertainty, battling inner demons that whispered tales of inadequacy. Their confidence is not a birthright but a hard-won triumph over self-doubt, forged through resilience and self-belief. Each step taken outside their comfort zone, each failure faced with courage, contributes to the steady growth of their confidence.

Articulateness, too, can be misconstrued as a natural gift bestowed upon the fortunate few. Yet, for many, eloquence is a skill acquired through persistent effort and practice. They may have stumbled over their words, grappling with a sense of inadequacy in expressing themselves effectively. But through dedication and perseverance, they transformed their verbal stumbling blocks into stepping stones toward clarity and persuasion, harnessing the power of language to convey their thoughts with precision and grace.

Perhaps most admirable are those who possess the humility to admit wrong and embrace vulnerability. In a world that often glorifies infallibility, these individuals defy convention by acknowledging their fallibility with courage and grace. They recognize that true strength lies not in the denial of flaws but in the willingness to confront them, to learn and grow from their mistakes. Their humility is not a sign of weakness but of profound strength—the strength to acknowledge their humanity and strive for continual improvement.

In essence, the traits we admire in others are often not innate qualities but the result of intentional effort and perseverance. They are a testament to the human capacity for growth and transformation, reminding us that our greatest strengths often emerge from the crucible of adversity. So let us celebrate not only the end result but the journey—the trials and tribulations that shape us into the resilient, complex individuals we are.

Cami Flores

Augustana '25

I am such a simple person. everyday I wake up, think "no thanks" and then go right back to sleep.