A Thousand Smiles

Just a Freshman College student serving a greater community

A sweaty summer at the University of Georgia. That’s what it was, literally, look.

Going around the houses, collecting all of the items that can be recycled.

Well, honestly, it was more than just that. It was a summer of new experiences, people, and most importantly, a new community.

Summer is the peak of most teenager’s lives. It is the time of year that we tend to look forward to the most, whether it be for the pool days, the break from school, or the summer jobs.

This year, my summer took a different route. It did not revolve around pool days or a summer job, and especially not, a break from school. Registering for Freshman College at the University of Georgia meant that I would have to give up my favorite time of the year and start college.

At first, I was not very excited about the idea, I thought it was just my mother wanting to get me outside of the house and off to college. Now, however, I can say that the experiences I have made these past four weeks will last forever, let me tell you why.

Throughout my entire lifetime, I have viewed community service as an obligation, rather than a desire. Never would I have imagined waking up and wanting to go volunteer somewhere.

A couple days into class I learned that one of my classes dealt with life skills and was meant to encourage us to serve our community. “Ugh just like high school again,” I thought. I remember telling myself that this was already a bad start.

Socks, tennis shoes, sunscreen, some of the few things I gathered before heading out to the first day of service. The whole ride towards Magnolia Terrance I jammed out to Katy Perry, hoping she could give me some physical or mental strength or at least some sort of inspiration.

Arrived.

Just as you can see, I heard that word spoken out of my navigator. All these thoughts running through my head. As I walked out of the car, an immediate slash of sweat dripped off of my face.

Smiling faces, people willing to help surrounded me. To my surprise, this place was great.

I was able to see passion in effect with the workers of Habitat for Humanity. These workers go away from the average expectations and walk the road less traveled. They spend an entire work day outside, in the heat, doing high demand labor in their attempt to serve the community. The work that they do will not go unnoticed.

Below here is an image of one of the guys who was working at the Habitat for Humanity—Philipp Kre. He is from Germany and after graduating high school, he was been sent to Athens to provide the community with help for a year.

Philipp came all the way from Germany just to volunteer.

He was a very encouraging factor during my time here. Always providing us with water, supplies, and knowledge that would help us reach our maximum potential.

Being able to volunteer at the Habitat for Humanity, made me realize how enjoyable service can be.

Apart from the service aspect of this program comes the educational. Through Freshman College I have been exposed to the expectations that a typical college professor has from student. I don’t feel any need to lie to you, it’s been difficult.

This program has basically reconstructed who I am. For the better, for sure. Based on the things that I’ve learned and the experiences I have undergone, I feel confident on what is yet to come. I’m ecstatic to begin my Fall semester of Freshman year and to see how I continue to transform. I’m extremely thankful to all of my peers who encourages me throughout this experience and made it so memorable.

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