Why I Chose A Service Year
Like many recent college graduates one of the first questions I get in conversation is, “So what’s next?” Luckily, I actually have an answer. I’ll be spending a year as a service team member with City Year.
For those who don’t know, City Year is a branch of Americorp that focuses on education. I will spend a year working with students in a low income school, getting a first hand look at the public school system.
The next question I often get is “Why?”
Well first because I have a genuine interest in public education. My two most read pieces on Medium (1 & 2) describe my experiences and observations of public education. My spring break service trip this year centered around youth education. Education is a contentious political issue.
Second, there are some great benefits to joining this program. There are workshops to help develop professionals skills. Then there is the huge network of alumni to help answer questions and make connections. Last, but certainly not least, there is a large education grant that come after completing a year of service. This will be great whenever I go back for my Masters degree.
Another reason I chose to pursue a service year, is because I can. I graduated college in three years. That means I have a full year to explore my interests where most people my age will still be studying. Also thanks to scholarships I have no debt. Because of this, I have the immense luxury of not having to search for a high paying job immediately.
Finally, and this is going to make me sound very immature, I am terrified of the real world. The thought of getting a “big kid job” makes me want to curl up under a blanket and call my mommy. A service year seems like a good in-between step, I’m calling it “quasi-adulting”.
This period of quasi-adulting will allow me to make enough money to support myself. I will have a year to mature, I will develop professionals skills, and I will get to explore a new city.
For me, a service year seems like the right choice. If you are a college student or new graduate and this article has piqued your interest, feel free to reach out. You could also check out City Year’s website: https://www.cityyear.org/