As I joined SMUS last September, I simultaneously became part of a community in which service is integral. Reading through well-described opportunity updates on the Leadership and Service blog and hearing returning students talking about service soon made me want to experience the wide range of possibilities.
Over the course of the year, I got involved with various separate events as well as long-term commitments such as organizing weekly activities at a nearby senior home. Being in a new environment surely comes with a certain fear, but being open-minded lessens this anxiety. Not only did I deepen my barbecue skills with Extreme Outreach or master quickly handing out water to athletes at the Oak Bay Half-Marathon, but I also got to enjoy peoples’ smiles and appreciation for my volunteer work. It truly makes one realize that we should become more thankful for what we have and not just simply take it as a given.
A community only works well on a give-and-take basis and devoting some of our time once in a while is a valuable way to contribute. It never mattered where people come from; there was always an interesting conversation. Everyone prized the moment and having to go separate ways again saddened some. In the end, the memories one gets out of service – and the effect we leave behind – are what counts.