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Why Volunteer as a Student? (Part 2: The Adventure) Featured

First off- don't be scared to try new cuisines. First off- don't be scared to try new cuisines. Vida Mikalcius

Reason #2:  A New Adventure

I was eating my Chipotle burrito bowl on a snowy April afternoon when I eavesdropped on three students from my former university. They discussed Kant and Socrates, reciting from their books word for word before shifting into a conversation about where tonight's kegger was going to take place. It took me back to the days of dollar beers (where are those bars again?) and sunny days spent in the grassy quad. Oh, what a fool I was thinking I was being prepared for a life outside of those city blocks.

The truth is perhaps I am assuming that those college kids where as boring as me. Maybe the kid in the YOLO shirt was going to run a marathon this summer. Or maybe the girl wearing jean shorts with ripped holes in her tights was working on her dive masters and embarking on a marine research project off the coast of Costa Rica. Or maybe they were doing what most students did every other night: drinking with the same people, fantasizing about how this might just be the year the Cubs come back, and thinking about how to get laid.

College is the time to experience independence and form deep friendships. Its the time to live in a bubble of ideals and ideas. It is also the time to explore, to branch out, to step out from your comfort zone. Students throughout history have been the catalyst for change. They did it in the 60's with the hippie movement protesting America's hawk like war ways. They are doing it now in Venezuela as the government throws tear gas into protesting students' faces.

Please don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you should jump head first into a political revolution. There are an infinite number of other ways to step out of your comfort zone as a student. Point in case: volunteering abroad in a developing country. While volunteering abroad we are immersed fully into another culture. We begin to see the world from a different perspective, still very human, but different. We succeed or fail miserably at bridging communication gaps. We find out that our superman complex of being able to save the world is pretty much a joke. Through all those hard lessons, we emerge even more excited, even more inspired to implement our own ideas. Perhaps you have an enlightened moment, and come up with something even more brilliant than SnapChat. Or maybe you return to school, and devout hours of your time in the university lab developing a device from a salad spinner that can bring clean water to millions of people. There could also be a chance that you don't come back with any cool ideas, but only with a million stories to tell after traveling to a place only known to you because of National Geographic.

The point is stop reciting someone else's ideas. Those ideas made it big, because they were original. There is no better time than when you are a student to dream big, to idealize the world, to seek change. So step outside your comfort zone, have the adventure of a lifetime, and give back something to a community by volunteering abroad.

Go to Why Volunteer as a Student? (Part 3: Get out of your Head)


Read 1327 times Last modified on Monday, 11 May 2015 16:48
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