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Service Has Literally Changed My Life For The Better

Service is an act that is so good and so powerful. Not only does it help the people who the service is for, but it can change the lives of the people doing it. I know this is possible because it happened to me. My life was changed because I was doing service and it’s because of this life changing experience that made me want to do more of it.

Before joining Gamma Sig, I went on a service trip to Houston Texas in January of 2018. This trip was a life changing trip for several reasons and it opened up my eyes to community service and how helpful it is to the community. After my trip, all I wanted to do was community service and give back to those who aren’t as lucky as myself.

This was because of a life-changing experience that I had while on my trip. Before my trip, I was just not in a good place emotionally and mentally. I had doubts about my future with the University of Delaware and I wasn’t sure if I had chosen the right college for me. Before going to Houston, I started to look at other colleges to see if they were possibly a better fit for me.

However, part of me knew to give Delaware a second shot. This second shot started with going on my trip. On my trip, I met amazing people and I was not the same person leaving the trip as I was going into the trip. It was a transformative experience and if I could pinpoint one day when my life changed, it would be when I took out a door frame in one piece.

I was in Houston with another organization on campus to gut homes to help aid in disaster relief for victims of Hurricane Harvey. My group and I spent the majority of our time working on this one house that had over 12 feet of flooding. We were basically gutting the house to its studs.

One day, I was assigned by the trip leader to work in this tiny hall way of the house with someone else and our job was to take out the door frames in this hallway. After working alone for about 30 minutes, we decided to work together. Might I add before this trip, I had barely worked with tools and I was figuring it out along the way. Also, I am not that physically strong so heavy lifting was a big challenge for me.

Once we started to work together, everything sort of fell into place. We figured out why these door frames weren’t coming off the walls, and once we got help from taller people, the project started to fly by. In this house there were cosmetic door frames (I guess for aesthetic purposes), and then there were door frames inside the walls.

As we were taking out the inner door frames, we realized that one could be taken out entirely in one piece. This could’ve been a 2-person task, but something in me told me to take this door frame out of the house by myself. I did just that and this moment was a light switch for me.

After taking out that door frame, I felt these intense feelings of accomplishment, strength, confidence, and worthiness. These were feelings that I had never felt to this extent before. In a way, taking out this doorframe taught me how to feel these feelings on my own. I learned how to celebrate my achievements and that any achievement is a good achievement (even if it’s making it to my 8 am on time). This was so life changing for me for that reason alone.

Yes, the work I was doing on my trip was life changing for the families we helped. Building someone’s home has that type of impact, but it was also transformative for a lot of people on that trip. We saw the impact of societal issues like redlining, poverty, and natural disasters all in one trip, and my maturity grew a lot as the result.

This service trip is the reason for a lot of decisions that I’ve made in my life. The biggest is staying at UD and not transferring out. It’s why I chose to work at a nonprofit over the summer of 2018, and that was another life changing experience. This service trip is the reason why I joined Gamma Sig.

Almost everyone on my trip was either in Greek Life or was going to rush the following semester, and it made me want to be a part of Greek Life to an extent. I didn’t want to rush, so when I heard about Gamma Sig being a service sorority that everyone could join and how there was no rushing process, it was a no brainer. It had everything I wanted in one place and to this day I will always that joining Gamma Sig was the best decision I have ever made.

My life did change because of my service trip, but Gamma Sig has enabled me to help others more. Whether I am helping set up a race, serving people food at the Soup Kitchen, or dancing for donations for my Relay for Life Campaign, I am helping out people and that is a great feeling to have in general.

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