This year’s summer reading assignment gave first-year students the opportunity to build on their greatest talents to succeed in college and beyond. Developed by Gallup, Strengths Quest is a life-coaching bestseller and online self-assessment that identifies a readers’ top five strengths out of 34 possible outcomes. Grounded in positive psychology, the strengths describe different personality traits, ranging from achiever and competition to learner and empathy.
Strengths Quest has a capacity to build confidence and self-awareness due to it’s individualized approach in identifying each reader’s unique set of strengths. Strengths Quest centers around a personal perspective and features thought-provoking questionnaires to aid readers in developing a stronger sense of self and perception of what they can achieve in the future.
For first-years, the material is helpful because it provides building blocks and action plans that link individual strengths to compatible career paths and areas of study. Students can come away with a common vocabulary to define their identity and with a common appreciation for other’s differences.
In regards to weaknesses, the writing style is more informative than creative and lends itself to a dull reading experience. Strengths Quest reads more like a how-to guide than a novel. Despite this, the themes of self-discovery and self-acceptance are powerful messages within the work.