ASB trip, service a great experience to cap off senior year

Growing up, you start to discover a whole plethora of new things about yourself and the world you live in. Existential, introspective feelings that toss the nostalgic regret aside.

To put it short, my senior year at Suffolk has not been the glamorous deception that I have played out in my head so many times. Especially when you find out that you might not graduate when you planned to.  I needed a new visceral experience, and after lingering disappointments I knew that I could look forward to going on Alternative Spring Break.  Social justice and community service are things that I pride myself on learning about.

Giving back and being aware are things that I hold dear even if it is something that I cannot always do. I am human and I am flawed, but I was hopeful that this experience could help me become a better person. However, my nerves had outweighed my best intentions. Even though I had been meeting with this group of people every week for this semester, I did not know them at all. I did not know how any of these individuals would receive my presence. I had no clue if I would be good enough to the gold standard of service work.

Delaplane, Va. was our destination, more specifically, the paradise that is Sky Meadows State Park. Our task was to plant as many trees in our designated area as humanly possible. Manual labor with strangers is not only a great bonding exercise; it is highly rewarding.  For the first time, in what feels like decades I was able to disconnect from the rhythmic hustle of city life and I was able to peacefully lose track of my time spent out in those fields. I loved taking slow walks back to our pseudo-isolated home across the work site; surrounded by hills, mountains and a deep blue sky that I got lost in.

ASB students in Virginia.
(Photo courtesy of David Frederick’s Facebook)

Needless to say, I learned quite a lot on this trip. Not in the atypical “cliché/meta” I found my inner peace way, but I was able to let myself be comfortable with who I am. I was able to quickly bond with these strangers, who I am now so grateful to call my friends. Stripping away our barriers and living with new people will show you just how similar you all are. The collective experience of my ASB trip is not just something I can turn into poetic linguistics.

One thing I knew I had to check off my Suffolk bucket list was going on Alternative Spring Break. It was not a choice made in simple personal gain, so that I could maybe tell a good yarn about it to my trusted few over some drinks. I needed to get out of my comfort zone, and felt more than compelled to dive head first into something different and so incredibly tangible. My ASB experience was without a doubt in my mind one of the best decisions that I have made in my time here at Suffolk.

Now, if you have ever even given a passing thought to going on ASB; you have to do it. Get lost in a brand new situation and expand your horizons because I almost was not able to attend this trip and little did I know that it would end up meaning so much to me. I was able to let go of my own convictions and if that is possible, then you have the ability to jump into the great unknown yourselves. I highly suggest that you get to the S.O.U.L.S. office to learn more about ASB and service learning, if I have been able to even slightly persuade you.