Why Assess Your Strengths?
In a globalized knowledge-based post-secondary educational milieu, a remedial approach – one that corrects your weaknesses only – is insufficient to accomplish your intellectual, social and personal goals. Without dismissing, minimizing or ignoring your stress, sadness, and anxiety, the Flourish program aims to identify your highest and core assets – your strengths. While fixing weaknesses yields remediation, identifying and nurturing strengths helps you grow and develop – intellectually, emotionally and socially.
The Flourish program teaches you how to use your strengths to overcome your challenges. It will help you learn that stress, sadness, anger, and anxiety can be overcome by learning skills to relax, to dispute your own negative and pessimistic thoughts, and to learn ways to cope adaptively with bitter and traumatic experiences.
That said, Flourish is not about learning trite “feel good” statements such as “I can do anything, if I work hard enough.” Or “the sky is the limit.” Flourish is about learning contextual and purposeful use of your strengths. Flourish is about using your strengths to engage in experiences, which are intrinsically motivating, and tap in to your creativity, curiosity, grit and love of learning. Flourish is about using your strengths to belong to and to serve something larger than yourself. Flourish will help you define and set concrete and attainable goals towards your success at UTSC and beyond.
What will your Assessment Entail?
Your Flourish profile will help you to understand the following elements:
Your Signature Strengths: These are the cornerstones of your Flourish profile. Your signature strengths are your salient characteristics of thinking, feeling, and behaving in a way that enable you to function optimally. Your signature strengths such as creativity, bravery, kindness and social intelligence are not the same as your talents. Talents might include perfect pitch, athletic prowess or dexterity. You can improve these attributes but there usually is a genetic limit. Your signature strengths, on the other hand, can be built, even from frail foundations.
Your Well-being: This well-being assessment is based on the PERMA model developed by Martin Seligman, a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology. Your overall well-being comprises your scores on positive emotions (P), engagement (E), relationships (R), meaning and purpose (M), and accomplishments (A).
Your Stress: Your stress score informs you of the extent to which you are experiencing signs and symptoms of sadness, stress, anxiety, concentration difficulties, conflicts with others, challenges in fulfilling social roles as well as physical symptoms of stress including sleeping difficulties, fatigue, irritability and changes in appetite. Note: Stress is measured by the OQ45 and is only available to UTSC students, not to the general public.
Your Academic Engagement: You will learn about your academic habits (e.g., keeping up with reading, submitting assignments, preparing for exams and delivering presentations), your commitment towards your academic success, your engagement in co- and extra-curricular activities, your ability to utilize appropriate supports services on campus and your ability to bounce back after academic setbacks.