More than 80 first-year students gathered at various organizations around McMinnville on Sept. 17, spending three hours on different community service projects. Laura Kushner, the volunteer coordinator at Yamhill Community Action Partnership food bank told me that she viewed community service as a chance to prepare.
Since then, I’ve been thinking about how I’m taking time to see what the world I’m supposedly preparing myself for actually looks like. While I have a full schedule of classes and extracurricular activities, most of my interactions are limited to Linfield’s campus. This seems kind of silly when I step back and look at the situation, because after this Spring, I’ll graduate and move into the world that I spend so little time being engaged in.
There is value to embracing your college years and the activities that Linfield offers. You will only be here for four years so live fully as an undergraduate. Yet, I think that part of living fully means reaching out to the community and to the world. This can be a lot of things like studying abroad, volunteering at the food bank, attending open-mic nights at Corner Stone Coffee, meeting the people who grow your vegetables at the Farmer’s Market or even just checking out books from the public library.
Even if you don’t have hours to spend on volunteering, spending some time in the community will allow you to collect a picture of how cities and large groups of people work and what they need.
This year, during my final year as an undergraduate, I’m going to immerse myself fully in my college experience- which will definitely involve checking out some good books from the community library and drinking some coffee at a public open-mic night.
Joanna Peterson/Managing editor
Joanna Peterson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.