This semester I participated in a variety of service based here at The Ohio State University, from Community Commitment, to invasive species removal, and I enjoyed the time I spent giving back to OSU and Columbus. I chose to do Community Commitment the first weekend of classes, I wanted to give back to Columbus, the city that will be my home for the next four years. I also participated in a the ENR Scholars river clean up on our first day, I feel that this was both educational, and made the Olentangy healthier. I chose work with the tailgate recycling program on my own, because I wanted to help prevent recyclable waste from going to the landfill. The next service opportunity was apple picking, I liked being outside while completing this activity, and I also felt that apple picking was a good use of my time, because the fruits of our labors went to the Mid-Ohio Food bank. My final service project with ENR was invasive species removal, I enjoyed this activity because the progress being made was clearly visible and a local environment was improved because of my afternoon. My final hour of service for the semester was encouraging students to register for Buckeyethon. That brings my total for service hours to 16 for the semester.
Though these service hours I addressed environmental issues, helped in an area that was short staffed, and aided in recruiting people to Buckeyethon so that more money will be raised for children at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. I can continue to address the environmental issues I worked with by remaining an active ENR scholar, and I can help Buckeyethon raise more money for Nationwide by providing my team with fundraising opportunities. My experiences aligned with my expectations for the service completed with ENR, Buckeyethon, and the tailgate recycling, because the activities were clearly described before the event. However, for Community Commitment I excepted to be working outside with my hands, and I was slightly disappointed when I spent my day inside preforming mundane activities. From my activities I learned that a small amount of work can make a big difference in the planet and my community. Through participating in environmental service I helped an environment be more like nature intended it to be, and through volunteering at the library I allowed the librarians to have more time to aid patrons.
I would participate in these types of service opportunities again, because I feel that I have positively impacted others. If I were to do Community Commitment again I would choose a different activity, however, if being at the library was the only option I would still be willing to serve. The next time I serve I am going to work on seeing the change that I have made, instead of focusing on all the things that are yet to be accomplished. The most difficult aspect of service is doing activities that do not seem to improve anything, because the change is not immediately visible. The most satisfying aspect of service is knowing that change has occurred because of my actions. Through the service I have completed this semester I learned that I feel the happiest when I give back in way that causes long lasting change.