There's nothing quite like the rose-colored glasses you look at life through once you return from Alternative Spring Break. I'm an RA in Towers, and last night (Sunday) I was on duty just after I walked into my room at school and dropped my backpack and suitcase and kicked off my rain boots. I stayed up late unpacking and reading my motivational mailboxes, and then was woken up at 6 am to cover a couple unexpected emergency hours at the Security Desk. Before ASB, that rude awakening was probably something that would have groaned and whined about, but as I sat at the desk from 6 to 8 am, I thought about waking up around that time with my 29 ASB friends (probably to the sound of Carolyn catapulting herself off of the top bunk). Mostly, though, I thought about how lucky I am to have my job, to have a place to live that I can call my own, and my shot at a great education.
ASB never fails to quiet my mind and to force me out of myself- my worries, stresses, insecurities- and think purely of what I can do to make life better for another person, family, or community. I never feel so much clarity and sense of purpose as when I'm on ASB. When we were heading to New Orleans after visiting the house on Daisy Street in Covington, Louisiana, Molly turned to Carolyn and I and explained that she felt like she was exactly where she was supposed to be in that moment. I was so happy for her, and I knew the feeling; last year, during my first ASB in Joplin, Missouri, I felt as if someone was creating all of the perfect signs to ensure that I was exactly where I was meant to be. The sun coming out of the clouds at Joplin High was my perfect I-belong-here-moment, and whenever I look at the tattoo I got on that trip, I am reminded of the experience that made me realize my place in the world. I, like Molly, have been forever changed from my first ASB experience, and, although it's taken a full year to completely realize it, my ASB experience has made me decide to change the direction of my life. Being a trip leader in Biloxi this year was easily the best thing I've ever done, and I've never enjoyed the feeling of being stressed out so much in my entire life. This work makes me come alive. It allows me to dedicate my life to something truly important, something good. I can't say thank you enough to Molly, Carolyn, Angel, Kendra, Emily, and Lorretta for guiding me and molding me into the person I'm meant to be. I'm glad to say that (after an advising appointment with Emily, of course!) I will be parting ways with my Elementary Education major and becoming a full sociology major. It's scary, because I've wanted to be a teacher for four years now, but fear is no good reason not to follow my dream. I want to submerge myself in this good work for the rest of my life- I want to make a career out of service. I've just got to follow my passion and hold on for the best :)
Recruitment and Retention Trip Leader