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Alternative Spring Break: Of Roofing and Life

The wind blew relentlessly that morning. The temperature was in the 30-40 range in March. It even snowed while we were out there! And we were in Newland, North Carolina. But, the atmosphere couldn’t have been more positive. We were on the plastered roof of a house that needed shingles on top. We didn’t care how cold it was because our purpose was far greater than the frigid cold we felt in our fingertips. Our motivation came from knowing that the roof was going to prevent anything (rain, sleet, or snow) from seeping into the home that would be inhabited below by a family who needed it.

In the world we live in today, filed with ambition, everyday stress, and the pressure to achieve individualistic goals, we often forget or subconsciously neglect the people who once were in pursuit of the same goals that we are currently trying to achieve; but through their own misfortune were dealt a curveball in life. We forget that as humans, we need from each other to make the world a better place. Some people just need a slap in the face to realize that.

That is why I did Alternative Spring Break (ASB). Rather than go to Miami and “turn up,” I made the decision to escape from the fast paced, pursuit of my own personal goals and ambitions, and focus on something that wasn’t about me. I was becoming obsessive over my career and where I wanted to be 10 years from now and I just need a break from all of it.

During my trip, I met and enjoyed great times with 14 of the most amazing individuals I’ve ever met. Each one of these human beings had hearts just as big as mine.

At first, I was kind of hesitant as to how living with 14 people was going to go. Would there be drama? Would I enjoy everyone’s company? Would we be able to get the job done?

All of those questions were irrelevant after the first couple of ASB sessions (yes you have to go to sessions). After the sessions we had before going on the trip, I felt totally confident that we were going to gel as a group. Even though I felt confident that we would gel, I never thought we would get as close as we did.

ASB galvanized us. It made us more self-aware. It made us better people. It empowered us. It opened our eyes to a world we wouldn’t have otherwise known if we had continued to be so self-involved.

The shingles on that house that day in a lot of ways was similar to life. It showed that life is a lot like shingling a roof. In order for no water to drip in to the house you have to lay each shingle down perfectly until finally, you finish the job. Same thing goes with life. Patience and a hard work ethic is key. So if you go out in your everyday life and live each day as perfectly as you can, while keeping patience and faith and motivation that you will succeed one day, your life will be a prosperous roof with no leaks finding its way into your home.

That’s just one of the lessons that ASB has taught me.

Alternative Spring Break applications are out right now and are due on or by October 9th! It is 125 dollars for the trip. Applications can be found online at http://www.suffolk.edu/campuslife/3429.php

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