One thing to know about me is that I seek out and go to as many traveling opportunities as I can. This Spring Break I spent most of it in Little Rock Arkansas doing volunteer work and in the company of friends and family.
- Little Rock AK. Alternative Spring Break
- Little Rock High School
- Social/ the wonderful people
- Recharging with friends
- Advice corner/ takeaways
With TAMUC there is a program called alternative spring break where a group of students get to travel, at a low cost, to a predetermined location to volunteer or some other themed educational purpose. This spring break was themed BE EMPOWERING so there were several workshops worked into our days.
As a person who volunteers more than she should be with a full schedule, I had no problem exploring the different kinds of community work we did. I did learn that I preferred volunteering activities that had me organizing things in one place than having to be actively/moving around for hours at a time. For example, I enjoyed packing period packs for the homeless, packing food at the food pantry into boxes way more than other activities like cleaning the state park (though the view after hiking up the mountain was worth it).
As an academic who seeks out civil rights trips, I was extremely interested in visiting the Little Rock High School. This historic high school and the teenagers who had to fight to further integration in an unjust system, carved the way for me and other children of color to get an education. The guide who led us through the historic moments for the Little Rock Nine was a historian truly passionate about what they talked about. Our textbooks do little to describe the trauma and daily war ground that was high school for these children.
Social/ the wonderful people
For context, I didn’t know anyone that was going on the trip when I signed up. I know that knowing people and having a firm foundation of trust is necessary for some people when it comes to travel. (Not to disregard the safety precautions too!) Since it was a university trip that I honestly did not have high stakes in, I didn’t mind getting thrown into the unknown.
That being said, I have many fond memories with these strangers and made many friends on the trip. We had long talks and gaming sessions into the wee hours of the night. The AirBnB became our home and I can see myself going back and spending time with them again.
Recharging with friends:
Of course, I didn’t spend my whole spring break volunteering. After spending a lot of energy getting to know people and helping others, it was time for familiarity and relaxation. I spent a day with some of my closest friends showing them around my hometown. These people have been a huge pillar of support this past semester and spending time with them outside the semester really helped me appreciate them more. We spent our time at coffee shops, local stores, trying on wedding dresses and playing board games till dark. My friends help me keep going and inspire me to grow. They are people that I trust to see me at my best and worst because they believe in who I am and could be.
Advice Corner/ Takeaways:
- Spend spring break doing something you enjoy- whether that be volunteering, time with friends and family, going on a vacation etc. Whatever is going to help you recharge and get you ready for the back half of the semester.
- Don’t let the unknown keep you from adventuring out of your comfort zone. Dare to go and enjoy yourself. Dare to grow.
- Take a deeper look into events in history and consider how each person felt at that time.
- Take a moment to appreciate those amazing people around you. Those who inspire you. Those who support you and love you.
- Companionship can happen with anyone anywhere.