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SFU Communication Co-op Student

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Terae Walters
I have turned myself from someone who feared criticism to understanding that it is a vital part of being a student and learning about yourself.

In your professional life, learning to accept feedback and positively move forward is a very important skill to acquire. Whether you are pursuing your career or university education, listening to criticism and not letting it discourage you is how you can move forward as a well-rounded individual. Peers, coworkers, and supervisors are always going to provide you with ways in which they think you can improve. Instead of feeling as though you failed or did something wrong, appreciate the feedback they provide and take it into account when making your projects or assignments even better! 

Throughout my entire life, I was always the worst at accepting criticism. I convinced myself that no one liked my work, and that my efforts were for nothing. I would get frustrated with myself and give up on creative projects or get discouraged and not want to try anything new. As I got older, I realized that accepting people’s opinions helped me build myself to be a stronger individual. Getting a second opinion is always a good idea, especially from those working in similar environments as you. There have been countless occasions when the people around me provided new ideas that I never even considered before. That pushes me to integrate these ideas with mine and produce better quality content that I am proud of. It’s not easy, but being a good listener is a great starting point. Once you learn how to listen and hear what others have to say, you will understand that receiving feedback is part of being human. It’s also a smart idea to try your best to disconnect yourself from your work. Although personal projects are an important part of who you are, receiving feedback doesn’t mean you are being criticized as a person. It means there are ways that your work could improve to be even better. Although it’s hard at times, try to not take it personally. At the end of the day, we are built to make mistakes, learn from them, and then better ourselves.  

As the famous saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. One of the biggest parts of overcoming my frustration with criticism was understanding that you must be patient with yourself to have a solid turnaround. It is extremely rare that projects are perfect on the first try, so take any type of feedback you can get to make your next draft even better. Great things take time, effort, and multiple readjustments to reach a final product. My favourite part about writing creative stories is the opportunity I get to send them to my team and discuss what I can do better or how I can build on my pre-existing skills. People that are on your team, whether it’s at work or school, want to help you reach success. Utilize different perspectives to continue creating amazing things. 

SFU Communication Co-op Student
Terae is a 2nd year Communications Student currently completing her first co-op work term with SFU.

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