Washington, D.C.. Atlanta. Belize. New Orleans.
I have been fortunate enough to take a service learning or diversity trip every year that I have been at NC State. I could write for days about the people I have met, fears I have overcome, and lessons I have learned while away on trips but I’ll try to be brief.
There is something about going away from campus with a group of people that pushes you out of your comfort zone and forces you to bond over shared experiences. The people in my groups have made all of the struggles and bad times I have had at NC State worth it. Seeing the Lincoln Memorial or The World of Coca-Cola are great but making a human connections that I have changed me forever is what I’ll always cherish.
One criticism that is constantly brought up in regards to service learning and diversity trips is, “What now?” Even from participants it becomes, yes we sang songs and held hands but what does it matter after this moment. To that I say the
important part is take something back and spread the word. Most of the time participants for trips are picked because they represent different groups on campus whether that is race, gender, sexuality, or
classification, or involvement level.
After leaving such experiences I feel as though I have a responsibility to keep the spirit of our time alive. Whether that is by changing my language, attitude, or advocating for others it must be done. What do you all think about Service Learning? While students learn are the communities they interacting with benefiting as well?
Until next time,