My Rewarding Alternative Spring Break Experience in Louisburg, NC

You can take the girl out of the city, but you can’t take the city out of the girl – that’s what I learned this past week as I took part in an alternative spring break. Most college students look forward to going home or to a tropical location for spring break, but this year I decided to try a different type of spring break, one full of community service rather than sleeping.

Boston University’s Community Service Center (CSC) sends groups of students around the country to part-take in week-long service trips led by other students and a guiding chaperone. One of my friends got placed as a leader for a trip to Louisburg, North Carolina and that’s what pushed me to join the trip. I have always loved my experience with the CSC and was extremely excited to join a trip with both a few friends and students I had never met. 

The day finally came to depart the city of Boston for rural Louisburg and I was filled with both excitement and anxiety about the week ahead. The ride was long and for the most part, everyone slept. After 14 hours, we finally got there and we were all extremely excited.

Our service took place at Terrell Lane Middle School, where each of us got to experience one-on-one time with students – helping them with anything from classes or just answering questions they may have about high school or college.  

Personally, I found myself connecting to students easier throughout the week, once I figured out how to seem more like a friendly face rather than a strange older person. I helped students in math class and eventually, after focusing on math, they began to ask questions about college in a city and why I chose to spend my spring break in North Carolina. As the week progressed, I constantly went back to the same classes at the same time to continue the growing mentorship between myself and certain students.

Other students in my group had similar experiences where they connected with certain students so much that by the end of the week they followed each other on Instagram to catch up every once in a while.

The experience as a whole was extremely different than anything I have ever done. I was living in a small room with five other girls in a town where the biggest restaurant was a pizza place. The group got extremely close but also figured out how to get on each other’s nerves, so dealing with the stress of being away from Boston on top of being irritated due to exhaustion was difficult. But overall, I believe we all came out of the trip having impacted the students and ourselves in a positive way.

One thing I always strive to do is grow in experience and knowledge. The only way to do that is to put yourself in situations where you are learning about yourself and others while finding calmness in the chaos that is life.


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