Guest column: Service, the college way

By Yaritza Corrales—

Guest Columnist

A new academic year means that we get a new clean slate to start out the semester fresh (for the most part).  Some of you are probably getting ready to sail out into the big world within the next semester or so and are working on getting those future job applications turned in. Some of you might be asking yourself where your entire week disappeared to and some may even be asking what exactly happened at last night’s party.

Whether you fall into the first, second, or the latter category one thing is certain – our college days are trickling by even if you are just getting started.  It does not matter if you are a freshman straight out of high school, a freshman turned sophomore, or a super senior; we are all on the same boat and heading, hopefully, into the same direction. However, I am not here to talk about what you did or did not do, but more about what you should consider on doing for the remainder of your college days and the time after.

As a traditional, overly involved student, I have tried to get my hands in a little bit of everything to get that “college experience” we constantly hear about. I realized halfway through my college career, however, that I was missing something. I tended to put academics first because that is the type of person that I am, but I also made enough time to get involved with student clubs. Still, something was missing.

Then, one day it suddenly hit me. It was not a matter of how involved I was or how many executive positions I held that fulfilled me and gave me that so called “college experience.” No, in reality what really rewarded me as a person and gave me a sense of accomplishment was the ability to personally see others benefit from my work. Now hear me out. I am not saying that we as college students have an abundance of wealth to go around (textbooks and tuition, anyone?), but we all have something that we can put to use to help someone other than oneself.

In essence, it boils down to giving to others. As one of Tarleton’s six core values, you might have heard the word service quite a handful. In several instances we as students offer our time to do service merely because it looks good on our resumes, our particular student organization require us to do so, or because higher ups said so.

However, when was the last time that you asked yourself or sat down with your group and discussed how excited and ready you were to do service? Are you only doing service for the credit or because you truly understand and get that fulfilling sensation? A big factor of course includes what personally makes you happy and what your idea of accomplishment is, but shouldn’t helping others, sharing your time and talents make you feel content and satisfy some part of you? Many times we forget the true important factors such as how life-changing doing service can be, the long-lasting friendships you create and the people that come along with it, and most importantly the rewarding sensation that every human should get to experience at some point in life.

I encourage you to take the opportunity to volunteer and share your talents, knowledge, friendship, time, or something so simple as a smile and a nod. If the service you are currently doing does not satisfy your ambition to help others, feel free to look elsewhere and see where you can help. Believe me when I say, we can all use an extra hand. Give others a little bit of your time and help out where and when you can.

 

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