Community Service As A Self Service
Start writing a post
Student Life

Community Service As A Self Service

My unique initiation into college.

Community Service As A Self Service

For five days, I had the privilege of doing community service right before school started, and my entire college experience is changed for it. The first few opening days of college have been interesting, but without the community service I did and the friends I made it would have been so much harder, and to be honest, I may not be the person I am. I was in Willamette University’s Service, Leadership, & Sustainability Jump Start program, and it changed the course of my first year at college for the better.

First off, I made the kind of friends I never would have imagined I could have. They are the most incredible group of people I know, and for the first time in my life, I feel like a part of a group, a welcomed addition that without would change the group dynamic. I have been accepted, looked after, encouraged to try new things, but more importantly, I also haven’t; my newfound “squad” leaves me to be my own person and doesn’t force me to do anything. These friends are quickly becoming my support group, and as someone who has always been a bit of an outsider, it feels good to be in.

Secondly, being with this group of people has changed the way I view humanity, and on a slightly lesser scale, my generation and peers here at Willamette. I remember it was a hot day, at least upper 90s, and my SLS group was shoveling, raking, and sweeping wood chips over two entire playgrounds. I had been working for maybe an hour and a half, just constantly raking a mountain of sawdust taller than me into a mountain that, no matter how hard I tried, was still bigger than I. I was exhausted, when my friend offered to take over raking so I could sweep around and take a break for a while. At first I thought he was joking. I can’t honestly remember the last time someone my own age saw me working hard and genuinely offered to help. So I laughed, thinking it was silly that he would want to switch. But then, and I will never forget this, he looked me right in the face and said “no, I’m serious.” I’m sure I just stood there like a moron, just staring at him, and after a beat had passed I thanked him and switched. This may seem like a miniscule, over-dramatized detail, but to me it was important, because it made me stop and look around. It made me stop worrying about what I was doing and just look at the people around me, all working hard, none slacking or hiding from work, all giving compliments where due and help where needed. I was amazed at the generosity and work ethic in front of me, and the sincerity of it all. Here, I thought, were good people.

More than anything else, this experience has given me confidence. I remember coming into the program an introverted, pessimistic person who worked too hard because I thought no one else would. In many ways I am the same, but a fundamental block that restricted me from connecting with people has been lifted. I saw the good, I saw the work, I saw the beautiful intentions and the friendships bond. I no longer think of people in the same way I did, as purely selfish creatures with occasional acts of kindness. These were genuine people, and I can say without reservation that I trust these people in at least the respect they have for the work they and others do. I am no longer afraid of the silly things I was before, of judgment and cliques and reputations. This isn’t high school; it is thankfully immeasurably better.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
A man with a white beard and mustache wearing a hat

As any other person on this planet, it sometimes can be hard to find the good in things. However, as I have always tried my hardest to find happiness in any and every moment and just generally always try to find the best in every situation, I have realized that your own happiness is much more important than people often think. Finding the good in any situation can help you to find happiness in some of the simplest and unexpected places.

Keep Reading...Show less
A painting of the virgin Mary, the baby Jesus, and the wise men

It’s everyone’s favorite time of year. Christmastime is a celebration, but have we forgotten what we are supposed to be celebrating? There is a reason the holiday is called Christmas. Not presentmas. Not Santamas. Not Swiftmas. Christmas.

boy standing in front of man wearing santa claus costume Photo by __ drz __ on Unsplash

What many people forget is that there is no Christmas without Christ. Not only is this a time to spend with your family and loved ones, it is a time to reflect on the blessings we have gotten from Jesus. After all, it is His birthday.

Keep Reading...Show less
Golden retriever sat on the sand with ocean in the background
Photo by Justin Aikin on Unsplash

Anyone who knows me knows how much I adore my dog. I am constantly talking about my love for her. I attribute many of my dog's amazing qualities to her breed. She is a purebred Golden Retriever, and because of this I am a self-proclaimed expert on why these are the best pets a family could have. Here are 11 reasons why Goldens are the undisputed best dog breed in the world.

Keep Reading...Show less

Boyfriend's Christmas Wishlist: 23 Best Gift Ideas for Her

Here are the gifts I would like to ask my boyfriend for to make this season unforgettable.

Young woman opening a Christmas gift

Recently, an article on Total Sorority Move called 23 Things My Boyfriend Better Not Get Me For Christmas, was going around on social media. I hope the author of this was kidding or using digital sarcasm, but I am still repulsed and shocked by the lack of appreciation throughout this article. I would like to represent the girlfriends out there who disagree with her standpoint -- the girlfriends who would be more than happy to receive any of these gifts from their boyfriends.

Keep Reading...Show less
Two teenage girls smiling

The 2000s were a time that many young adults today can look back on, joyfully reminisce and somewhat cringe at the trends and the fads that we all used to love and adore. Here's a list of things from the golden 2000s that will have one feeling nostalgic about all of those times.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments