This trip has been just the break I needed from the everyday worries of college life. This week I realized how truly blessed I am to even call myself a college student. Yesterday we had the chance to see a woman have her Habitat for Humanity house dedicated to her and it changed my outlook on everything. For most of this week I deemed my contributions to the house insignificant and small, but seeing someone cry from joy over their home was such a humbling experience. I know as a college student I take for granted being lucky enough to even take finals or sit through a three hour lab course. I get excited about a new episode of Glee or a class being cancelled. This week redefined what I deem important.
Earlier in the week I was painting the side of the house on some scaffolding several feet off the ground. There was a hole in between two pieces, and the moment I stopped paying attention I fell into the hole, and injured my back. After that I wanted nothing more than to be at home to rest. When I decided to stay I told myself I would not leave the ground. But yesterday, I conquered my fear of getting back on the scaffolding, and finished painting the side of the house. I have never felt more accomplished or proud of myself. Soon after this I felt that all of those feelings would be insignificant because it was only a coat of paint.
The joy on that woman’s face proved to me that all the blood, sweat and tears I have put in this project really did make a difference. I didn’t just paint a house, I painted someone’s home.
I learn how to be a leader through my education and all of the extra-curricular activities I do. This week I learned to lead through a service mission and it was something I will never forget. I would suggest anyone who ever has a chance like this take it. It redefined what exactly a leader looks like to me. It isn’t the president of your chapter or alumni you admire. The leaders of your chapter are those who will selflessly put their needs and desires down in order to contribute to the betterment of your chapter and mankind. I want to bring everything I have learned back to my chapter, and really emphasize the importance of service.
I feel like life isn’t just a coincidence. I think everything happens for a reason. This trip was no exception to that. The women I met and the lives that were changed through our hard work are one of the most valuable memories I will carry with me for the rest of my life.
Stephanie Winn is a student at Belmont University and a member of Alpha Sigma Tau Sorority.