Weekend Wisdom

Taylor Barry ’03

14
“There are no weaknesses, just untapped opportunities to grow into your best self.”
“The journey to explore the many facets of my personality, strengths and interests began as a freshman. In my four years at KPS, I participated in preseason soccer, field hockey, volleyball, lacrosse, track and field, swimming and squash. Each year I ran for a different club committee with equal fervor. I even enrolled in AP Economics, although math was my most challenging subject. This pattern persisted after graduation (I took every 101 language class offered and switched majors at three colleges). When it came to making a decision about what to pursue most seriously, I fell short.
 
“At ages 18 and 24, I had so much life left to live; how could I possibly know how I wanted to leave my mark on the world?
 
“As a profession, cooking was an amazing outlet for many of my passions. I could use math and science in recipe development, design when creating a menu or a restaurant space, communication when managing new hires, and art when building wedding cakes and coming up with seasonal platings.
 
“Kent Place encouraged me to try new things and practice failing — a highly undervalued skill. This has been crucial as I bring my own product to the marketplace: meeting with venture capitalists, visiting farms, writing a business plan and attending informational meetings and conferences. The ability to cultivate all aspects of myself (the shy public speaker, the fearful adventurer, the woman in a male-dominated industry) has made me successful in arenas that at ages 18 and 24 I wouldn’t have dared to enter.
 
“Today I focus not on my strengths and weaknesses, but instead on cultivating all facets of my personality. The more well-rounded I am, the more success I see. The less I fear failure, the bigger and more exciting my world becomes. Keep lighting up the world, and hold that torch high.”

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Kent Place School is an all-girls K through 12 independent college preparatory day school with a coeducational Preschool, located in Summit, NJ.