Volunteering Has Changed Who I Am So Much That It Caused Me To Rethink My Entire Future

Volunteering Has Changed Who I Am So Much That It Caused Me To Rethink My Entire Future

Marquette's biggest day of service last weekend forced me to evaluate what I really want to do with my life.
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Going into college last August, I thought I had it all figured out. I was going to major in English, write a lot of essays, and become an editor for some random publisher. That is, until I discovered Marquette's Center for Community Service.

I knew that I wanted to be involved in lots of things on campus, since I did absolutely nothing of the sort in high school. So, at my school's organization fest, I wrote my email down left and right to any and all student orgs that seemed even a little interesting to me.

I ended up joining groups that I was super passionate about, like Marquette Empowerment, a feminist club on campus that has introduced me to a ton of new friends, and The Odyssey, which obviously has taken me to a place I never even knew I could be at as a freshman.

Two organizations that I had joined, Midnight Run and Marquette Volunteer Corps, were both service groups who were involved in Milwaukee and the improvement of the community around us. Living in Milwaukee my entire life, I had already seen firsthand the social issues that plague the city, from police brutality to a disturbingly high homicide rate to segregation.

My weekly visits to both Redeemer Lutheran Church downtown and the Boys and Girls Club at an inner-city elementary school have changed my life for the better, mostly because they helped shine a light on what I truly wanted to do after college: make a difference.

Fittingly so, Marquette's slogan "Be the Difference" has been proven to me through my involvement in community service these past eight months. I ended up changing my major to Social Welfare and Justice last month and I am beyond excited to finally start taking classes next semester that I truly care about.

Even though writing is still one of my passions, (hello, it's what I'm doing right now) I knew deep in my heart that it isn't going to provide me with a career that I actually enjoy waking up and going to each morning.

I'm still not sure specifically what I want to do after graduation, but it's going to be okay. My parents always told me that they would support me in any decision I made, as long as I was happy doing it and now I am sure of that.

I firmly believe that everyone should complete some form of volunteering in their life. Whether it's participating in a charity walk once a year, donating clothes and food to children in need during the holidays, or actively engaging with those less fortunate than us every week.

I was an open-minded person before joining the service groups I'm a part of. But, especially in today's world, everyone needs to experience that compassion and understanding with others to receive a better concept of the planet that we live in and the many other people that inhabit it with us.

Cover Image Credit: Marquette Hunger Clean Up Instagram

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To The Girl Who Isn't Graduating On Time, It Won't Feel Any Less Amazing When You Do

Graduating is something to be proud of no matter how long it takes you.

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To the girl who isn't graduating college "on time,"

I promise, you will get there eventually, and you will walk across that graduation stage with the biggest smile on your face.

You may have a different journey than the people you grew up with, and that is OKAY. You may have some twists and turns along the way, a few too many major changes, a life change, you may have taken most of a semester off to try to figure your life out, and you're doing the best you can.

Your family and your friends don't think less of you or your accomplishments, they are proud of your determination to get your degree.

They are proud of the woman you are becoming. They don't think of you as a failure or as someone any less awesome than you are. You're getting your degree, you're making moves towards your dreams and the life that you have always wanted, so please stop beating yourself up while you see people graduating college on time and getting a job or buying a car.

Your time will come, you just keep doing what you need to do in order to get on that graduation stage.

Your path is set out for you, and you will get there with time but also with patience. The place you're at right now is where you are supposed to be. You are going to thrive and you are going to be the best version of you when you graduate and start looking for a company that you will be proud to work for. Don't look on social media and feel less than, because at least you're still working towards your degree that you are finally passionate about. You will be prepared. You will be ready once the time comes and you cross the stage, move away, and start your journey in whatever field you're going into.

Don't question yourself, and be confident in your abilities.

With love,

A girl who isn't graduating on time

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Goodbye School, Hello Real World

I'm ready for ya!

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It's starting to hit me.

I've been in school, year after year, since kindergarten. Maybe even pre-school!

Now, I'm about to graduate with my bachelors in communication and I couldn't be more proud of myself. I'll say it. I often sugarcoat it or suppress it but d*mn it. I'm going to applaud myself. It was hard work. It took a lot of motivation, determination, (caffeine), and willpower to get to where I am today. I worked my ass off.

That being said, I can't help but think... What is life without due dates? What is life like without scrambling to turn in an assignment that's due at 11:59 PM? What is life like with actual sleep? Sleep? I don't know her.

Like I keep telling my boyfriend and my parents, I don't have it all figured out. At least not right now. But I will, and I'm in no rush to land my dream job right now. If anything, I want to take a year to myself. I want to travel. I want to sleep in if I d*mn well please! I want to read as many books as I want. I want to write till my fingers fall off (OK, maybe not that).

You get the jist.

I'm free. I can do and be whatever I want. And you know what? That's terrifying.

I'm lost. I've followed this structure for so long. Now what?

I don't have all the answers yet. But for now, at least right at this very moment, I'm so thankful to have been able to receive such an amazing education. And to be able to say I'm graduating with my bachelors in communication at 21 is an accomplishment in itself.

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