December 11, 2000
Personal responsibility means being accountable to yourself and to your actions and it can be achieved by doing self-evaluation, developing responsible habits and following through. Behaving responsibly makes our life more meaningful and enables us to discover our purpose. It is something to be taken seriously because it can make a difference between success and failure.
There is definitely correlation between personal responsibility and college success; one would simply not become successful without being responsible. “When applied to education, personal responsibility means that students accept the responsibility to study hard and to learn as much as they can in courses that press against the limits of their capacity” (Haskins, 2009).
Naturally when things are not going the way we want them to be, the tendency is do these three things: make excuses, refuse to admit mistakes or complain. “We justify foolish beliefs, bad decisions, and hurtful acts” (Tavris, C., Aronson, E., 2007). When this happen, that is when we seriously need to do self-assessment and look deep within ourselves and figure out whether or not we are guilty of these three common self-justification tendencies. Murphy’s law reads, “If anything can go wrong… it will”, there are always some things that we just don’t have any control but we cannot always use it as an excuse for not getting things done. People always say “I would have done it, but….” It is human nature to make excuses. Sometimes when we have a bad day at work, we tend to bring home the negative attitude and use having a rough day as the excuse to justify the behavior. Refusal to admitting mistakes is the probably the most common self-justification habit in all of us. There is nothing wrong with making mistakes, it is part of being human, but when we lie about our mistake that is what makes it wrong. There are three things that should happen when someone make a mistake, first is to admit to it, second is determine the lesson learned, and third is to make sure it does not happen again. Most of the time, instead of owning up to our mistakes people tend to somehow find a way to blame others for it, which just makes it even worse. Complaining, part of being irresponsible is complaining a lot. Complaining is when nothing but sarcasms come out of someone’s mouth. Instead of making things happen, they rather watch and see if things will go their way, if not, that’s when all they start making it sound as if they are the victims. For instance, I find myself always complaining about high price of caramel macchiato at Starbucks, instead of doing something about it by waking up early and brewing my own coffee, I would rather pay for a cup that cost five times more.
If a student wants to be personally responsible then that person needs to develop responsible skills. The following strategies may seem easier said than done, but by putting together a game plan, a lot of effort and dedication, no objective is unattainable:
Self-discipline. The key to self-discipline is seeing and feeling the self in the end result. It means figuring out what needs to get done and doing everything to get them done no matter what, to stay motivated, to stay focused on the goal of becoming a good professional once you graduate. Take initiative, don’t wait for somebody else do it or tell you to do it, step up to the plate and be the first one to show good example to others.
Organization. This habit makes things manageable by writing down all tasks, checking them routinely and monitoring the progress of each task until they are completed. There are several methods in organizing, some do not mind writing on manual planner while others would rather use electronic devices. Being forgetful is a trait of irresponsible person; one