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Cavan Stanaway

Professor Jizi
UWRT-1103
September 29, 2015

Who I am Now
When I look back on my younger self, I would have never imagined I would be where I
am today. Being from Michigan, I would had never thought for a second I would be calling the
mountains and UNCC home. Everyone always has a set path with what they want to do and
where they want to go, but really life will take you the other direction. Growing up I was always
the quiet and reserved type of kid who didnt say much, and it always took me a bit longer to
make friends. As I have grown older this is still a trait of mine, yet it is now easier for me to
break out of my shell. Aside from that, I think of myself as a very different person from when I
was young and it is difficult for me to make personality connections from the past to the present.
Competence, economic security, pleasure, self-respect, stability, knowledge of sciences,
close relationships, affection, change, and growth are my chosen top ten moral and core values.
These are in no particular order, however, some stand out more than others. I expect this list to
change and continue to change as I grow and experience. This list is derived from my
experiences as well as observing others and their situations. If I did have to cross out any it
would be growth and change because those two come naturally in a human lifespan and is not
necessarily always something you have to constantly worry about. Following that would be
economic security. Growing up, I have seen my parents constantly struggle financially. This has
always been something Ive wanted to avoid. I by no means have a desire to have more money
than I know what to do with, but I want to live comfortably and not have the continuous burden

of trying to make ends meet. Though I do not think it is a necessity for happiness as most would
agree. Competence and knowledge of sciences are next up the ladder. Knowing and
understanding the history and behavior of the physical world around you, I think, is crucial to
build yourself as a person. Every day I see people who forget that they are just one of seven
billion on this Earth. They forget that there are other religions, other perspectives, and other
people who have lives as complicated and emotional as you, if not more. People dont have a
single clue that our own Sun, which we see every day and is our supporter of life, is just one of
100 billion other stars in the Milky Way, which is one out of billions upon billions of galaxies.
Human interaction and affection is a need, not a want. It is scientifically proven that humans
require other human relationships to be mentally stable. You cannot do everything by yourself,
and having those whom you can fall onto is critical to me. Self-respect is also just as crucial. You
may often want to put others before you, but dont forget to sometimes put yourself first. Do
what you want to do, listen and observe other influences, but be careful not to become
excessively dependent. All of the topics of moral values fall under stability. Carrying out your
core and moral values is what makes you a stable person in all aspects.
The people in your life always make up a good chunk of who you are as a person. My
parents, of course, have played the biggest role in raising me as a person. Sometimes, though,
you need to step away from your parents and learn from others. My friends are very dear to me
and I have learned so much from them. Listening to what they have to say and to hear their view
of the world has been always influential to me. When I moved to the mountains in 2009, it
wasnt until a few years later that I really began to fall in love with them. Hiking and trips up to
the Blue Ridge Parkway with my best friends has always made me consider the mountains as

home. I can always find peace and clarity especially when there is 50 miles of the most beautiful
mountain range within my view.
What people think of me is kind of an unknown topic to me. I dont have much of an
interest in what others think of me exactly. One thing I do know is I dont have any true enemies.
Through high school there was never anyone I held a grudge against or anything of that nature. I
definitely wasnt the type to get involved with the clich high school drama that went on
constantly. I have been told by a couple of peers that I always know what the right thing to do is
even in difficult situations. Sometimes I am surprised by this because I often question whether or
not my decisions are the right ones. I also have been told that I am generally likeable. I can agree
to this because I feel like I can adapt easily to dissimilar personalities when meeting new people.
My top character strength was judgement, critical thinking, and open-mindedness. I do
somewhat agree with the results of this survey. However, I am not sure if it would be my top
strength. I am very skeptical and I usually can tell when something is inaccurate or false. I was
the first one out of all my friends to no longer believe in Santa when I was younger. I am a
realest and will consider both sides of a situation, but I will only accept the facts. I think this
character trait applies to me well for I am a huge science buff. Science is something that is
beautiful to me and it is something I trust. There are a couple of people that I can thank for my
appreciation towards science. Mr. and Mrs. Zalevskiy were two teachers of mine back in high
school. Mrs. Zalevskiy taught chemistry and Mr. Zalevskiy taught astronomy. Both of their
teaching styles really helped me to understand how science works and the amount of information
we can learn from using its techniques. Their enthusiasm for the subject really rubbed off on me
while taking their classes and I thank them for it.

When it comes to personal beliefs most would probably resort to their religion. Well for
me that is not the case. I am not religious in anyway but I was still raised as a Lutheran. It wasnt
until about 8th grade when I really started to decide whether I wanted to be religious or not. When
I was young I believed in God because my parents did and everyone around me did so why
shouldnt I? However, back then I didnt really have much of a clue on what the Bible consisted
of and the actual foundation of the Christian faith. I just thought that there was a God and it
created everything and it knows everything about everyone ever. It wasnt until my first day of
confirmation class that my doubt really started to evolve. The pastor who was teaching the class
was lecturing on Genesis Chapter One. I remember him saying God said let there be light, and
there was light. I remember sitting there confused on how the Sun could just pop out from
nowhere even when we know today how stars are formed. I knew this was not for me and as I
continued to really learn what the Bible had to say, my doubt only strengthened. I continued to
go through confirmation class and attend church service due to family reasons. I have found
positives from doing this. I went on mission trips with my church and found them to be very
enjoyable and fulfilling. Having the opportunity to help a community in need is very satisfying
personally.
I learned quite a bit from this paper. Starting with my moral and core values, these were
never something I truly sat down and contemplated. I never took the time to put labels and
identify what my values were. I always felt like everyone had their list of morals that they lived
by except me. Finally being able to pick out and narrow down my top principles gave me a sense
of satisfaction. I hope now that I have a foundation on these standards I can better my decision
making, life skills, and how I socialize with others. I expect the values to change, however, over
time as I grow. I also learned what my character strengths were. I dont think anyone can figure

out 100% accurately what their true character strengths are. Everyone has a slightly different
version of themselves inside their head than what people observe from the outside. You cannot
always get feedback on how others see you and view your personality. This test really helped me
to understand what my strengths actually are. There will always be a little bit of bias when it
comes to who you see yourself as and who you actually are. I think this bias diminishes as
people age and experience more personal and self-discovering situations. And at last, writing
essays always improves my ability to write. With my dislike towards writing, I am always
looking to expand my attitude towards the subject for I think it is fundamental to my desired
career.
I dont have much to say when it comes to how I went about writing this. I did not have
as difficult of a time writing this paper as I thought I would. Free writing has definitely helped
me in getting my thoughts onto the paper. Total, this assignment took me about 3 hours, which
surprised me. When going about this essay I had to decide what to talk about exactly, deciding
what can go in and what is too personal. I didnt make any major changes to my paper except for
some simple cuts that I made. There was one point where I had to make changes because I ended
up contradicting myself earlier in the character strengths section. Overall, I am very pleased with
my paper and expect the following assignments to be less stressful for me.