Patience has a Perfect Work: What I’ve Learned from the Life of a Whale

Yesterday, in our student ambassador pre-semester training, our icebreaker activity was to answer questions about ourselves. Of course I got the “what animal would you be and why?” question. I detest questions like that because honestly I’m so unimaginative when it comes to those kinds of things. And there’s always that pressure of trying to find something witty and inspiring to say. So I usually will just revert to the safe answer. “I’ll be a bird so that I can fly and travel the world in an instant”.

But surprisingly, instead of the bird, what came to mind was a whale. Haha! Yeah I know. I shocked myself. So why did I choose a whale? Well, it occurred to me that whales take their time with everything. From the way that they swim, to how they hunt, to how long it takes for them to give birth to their young, to their average lifespan (up to 80, sometimes 100 years if not hunted). You never see a whale impulsively rushing off to do things. It takes its time, roaming the entire world looking for food, even if it takes months. 

My recruitment team is in the midst of planning our events and recruitment strategies for the new year. In the coming weeks, I’m sure we will have a lot of great discussion and lively debates over what will be the most effective strategies to recruit and retain quality students. My hope is that as we make our plans, we will take our time, reflecting on what we currently do and the effectiveness of our current methods, and comprehensively examine opportunities for further growth as a team.

As professionals, it’s so easy to always rush off to the next glittering opportunity and ride the wave of the current trends. However, never forget the old adage, “Not everything that glitters is gold”. The life of the ancient and patient whale, lends us a valuable lesson. Nothing is ever so important that we can’t be patient, and truly wait to determine if what we see before us is actually worth grabbing hold of.

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