Participating in a ropes course activity each fall has become an Northwest Community College Initiative (NWCCI) tradition. Last week all three NWCCI colleges met in Bellingham, where students broke into small groups and worked together to creatively complete challenges that required critical thinking, collaboration and communication skills. Claudia Du Plessis, an Edmonds student from South Africa who is studying for a web application developer certificate, writes about her experience at the ropes course and what it felt like to challenge herself and rely on her teammates.
On Monday September 16th we did a ropes course at Camp Lutherwood. Before leaving Lynnwood I didn’t know what to expect and I assumed I was ready for what was yet to come. All three colleges were there; Whatcom, Pierce, and Edmonds Community College. Having all the CCI students together and having a chance to learn about other cultures was an amazing experience.
I found a quote on the internet that has really inspired me in many ways; to me the quote helped me shape my life and guided me through rough times. It made me think hard about what my goals are in life and whether I was going to take the quote and use it in my daily life. Tony Robbins said, “The secret to success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you’re in control of your life. If you don’t, life controls you”. Even though people have their own ways of succeeding in life, we also know of many ways that we can succeed in life. The rope course gave us valuable lessons that we can use in our classes and in our professions.
The rope course taught me how to use pain, pleasure and having fun at the same time. It teaches us how to communicate without speaking or listening to people’s ideas while working together as a team. These skills will be useful not just at work or in class but we can use it in our daily lives by not letting pain and pleasure use us. Every one of us is a leader and it’s not easy letting someone take the lead, but at the ropes course I learned that giving the chance to let someone else lead so that I can follow was a piece of cake.
Team members challenged themselves to complete the course without giving up. For some people it was facing their fear of heights. For me it was about experiencing new things and pushing myself so that I can build my faith and trust others.
We all have different dreams and different believes but together we will unite and become examples for our own countries. The rope course taught us about supporting team members and to ask for help when we needed it. To the NWCCI students, there is an inspirational quote that I would like to end with, ”You should conquer your fears or else your fears will conquer you”.