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Zelimir Koljesar
September 19, 1999


Self-Assessment Paper


During the course of life, there are many factors that can shape one's personality. They are separated into two general groups, nature and nurture. This means that every factor, such as family, cultural background, heroes or future goals, that influences one's qualities belongs to one of the two groups. A different combination of these factors creates a unique and interesting character for every one of us.

I believe that I was mostly influenced by my family members. There are three more individuals residing in my home, my father, my mother and my sister. Lately, I keep discovering how I am starting to obtain qualities of my father. He has always been a person in the house who puts all the effort when doing something and who will diligently finish all the work that has to be done. My father is a kind of an individual who positively looks on life and who is ready at any time to try to go over an obstacle in his way. From my father I learned to appreciate what I have been given in life and to use it up to its limits. From him I learned to have hope by my side, which is one of the reasons that I am here at Penn State. My mother influenced me in a great deal, too. I learned from her to respect other individuals around me and to treat them the same way I would like to be treated. My friends often give me remarks that I am a nice guy. I definitely know where I received this quality. My sister is six years older than me and I am very thankful that I have her. Since she already experienced various events in her life, she unconsciously teaches me how to adapt to the modern environment and how to communicate with nowadays teens and adults. From her behavior I was able to learn numerous lessons on how to speak in a group, how to dress and how to react in certain situations. When I stop and look at the three closest human beings in my life I realize how lucky I actually am.

Being a member of a cultural minority led me to become an open-minded person. I was born in Yugoslavia, but my roots are Ruthenian. It is very difficult to explain who Rutheninans are, but our culture is similar to Ukrainian culture. The most important fact that I would like to bring across is that in my childhood I learned about a number of cultures and religions. Therefore, once my family immigrated to Canada, I was able to quickly adjust to all the different nations that surrounded me. As a Ruthenian I also speak Ruthenian language, along with Yugoslavian and English. Once again my cultural background made me a well-rounded person.
As a child I was able to find several heroes and heroines. However, one individual stuck out among others. This was, and still is, the basketball player, Michael Jordan. I always used to watch him during his matches and I was able to find various similarities between us. I noticed that he played up to his expectations every single match. He was never ready to give up and call it a match and he was always a fair sportsman. Many of these qualities I find in my dad too, but through life and not sports. Therefore, this hero of mine did have a significant role in my personal growth.

During the early high school education I was able to distinguish what area I should be heading in at university. My whole life I managed to achieve good marks in mathematics courses. If the subject has numbers involved, then I am definitely going to adjust to it and earn a decent grade. Since English is my second language, I usually have difficulties in that class. However, by putting a lot of effort into my English classes, I was still able to achieve good marks. English is just one of the many reasons why I decided to head into computer science as being my major at university.

I have had many experiences in my life, but I would like to include two of them that influenced me to a big extent. As I mentioned earlier, my family immigrated to Canada when I was fifteen years old. This was the time when I had to make a passage to a new era in my life. It was the point where I wasn't going to be called a child anymore. I noticed an enormous psychological change inside of me. Somehow I began thinking more like an adult in many different ways. I realized that there is a negative side of life too and that it is a huge achievement to be able to survive every day, especially nowadays. My second significant experience relates to my girlfriend Michelle. I am a kind of a guy who takes relationships seriously and who doesn't date just any person. During the last year of my high school and the summer before university, just by being around Michelle, I was able to learn a great deal about her, myself, relationships and mostly life, itself. The feeling of having a person by your side to support you in every situation in your life is incredible. Through smaller events and experiences, I realized how essential it is to have this one person who you can get extremely close to and how essential it is to have this person first as a best friend and then as a dating partner. With her being in my life and being my inspiration I am certain that many upcoming experiences will be much more enjoyable.

Having goals in life is a very important fact. I have ambitions in many areas, but personally I believe that education should be on the top of everyone's list. Being an athlete helped me in choosing a university, but my main objective is to gain quality education. I do enjoy spending my time in front of a computer and I do realize how the field of computers is growing with the rapid development of technology. After successfully being accepted to the College of Engineering at Penn State University, it is up to me to strive for my career goals, along with many other goals that follow.

Simply touching on several areas that are capable of influencing an individual it is easy to learn about that same person. By learning from the environment and choosing own destinations in life, one is instantly shaping his/her personality. Experiences come and go and one can discover himself/herself through them. You can live only once; why not make the best out of it?


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