They’re Not Next Door But They’re Still Your Neighbors
I came across the above quote not too long ago and thought it exemplified my responsibility as a volunteer. In the Winter of 2019, I participated in a service immersion program known as the Habitat for Humanity Gulf Coast Service Trip. As I formerly entered Babson as a transfer student, I hoped that this experience would allow me to open the doors to new relationships with my peers. There, I made 11 new friends that I had built life long relationships with. Together, we entered several different construction sites and smashed expectations by accelerating the process of the properties being built.
Each day consisted of a new site and new challenges. This was one of the biggest upsides as the new sites brought along different tasks and different teams. The constant rotation of teams enabled our cohort to get closer as all of us became familiar with one another. The work days were long and shifted from cold to hot over the course of the day. However, our surrounding peers and the combined efforts of habitat staff made it all worthwhile.
In addition to the impact that we as a collective contributed to the community, the bond that we as a group developed over the course of a week was the biggest highlight of my trip. Each time that we were together and not watching Lost was magical, filled with jokes, laughter, and reflection. During the evenings as we prepared for the following day, we would play a variety of card games where we challenged each other toe to toe on who would become victorious in a game of Spoons or Egyptian Rat Screw. Needless to say, relationships were made and broken during these games.
Another upside of the trip was the amount of time that we were all able to spend with each other. Living in close quarters, working with each other during the day, and eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner together, were all instrumental in becoming comfortable with each other. By the end of the trip, it was bittersweet to say goodbye to the people you would see nearly every second of every day!
I definitely enjoyed my experience this year on the Gulf Coast Service Trip and I would welcome everyone to apply. It’s a special experience to meet peers that you might not have met otherwise!