*Blog originally written on trip but not posted until now*
One of the first nights we were here each member of the group took a personality test that categorized everyone into color groups according to certain traits. The point of the exercise was to find which personality color described you the most, discuss strengths and weaknesses of your personality, and finally come to an understanding on how your color group can work with different and perhaps conflicting color groups. Most people find themselves linked to one color, I however was tied three different ways, into three different groups, with three different personalities. Though I know that these tests are not supposed to define who you are in any sort of definitive way, I must admit watching everyone having a specific color/personality to group with, and me just a random conglomerate of various adjectives was a strange experience.
This little snippet of the trip was a turning point because it allowed me to experience this week differently than I would have otherwise. Coming into this trip I was confident in who I thought I was. I thought I could define myself in black and white terms, and I thought I knew exactly where I was headed. However, through my reflections during the service and talking with everyone around me, I have come to the realization that I have very little of my life figured out. This week has showed me that pretending I can predict the future and pretending I have control over circumstances that I don’t is just a way to make myself comfortable; there is security in that lie.
I come away from this trip knowing that I am too young not to expect myself to change. The important thing is that I notice this process in myself and change myself for the better. Every experience is an opportunity to enrich my life, and that is something I must always keep in mind. I haven’t lost myself during this trip but rather discovered that there is always potential for me to create an even better version of the person that I already am.
Service is a give and take process; the work that you do for your community shapes you just as much as you are shaped during your work. I am so thankful that I have had this experience and the opportunity to take this week and decided how I can use it to push myself towards the improvement of my character. Biloxi has given me so much. I know someday when I come back to see the work that we have done here I will feel much more than nostalgia for my ASB world, but rather a connection to a city where I have learned to live differently. I could not be more thankful for that.
-Amy Jones, Class of 2016