the freshmen hunt

January 18, 2011
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At first the thought of community service seemed like a stupid way to make my life tougher, once I actually did my hours i can honestly say the way i view things has changed drasticly. The way i viewed the world, as many teenagers do , is in a light where only im affected. If something couldnt hurt me or benefit me, i didnt really care about it. That all changed when i met my freshmen.
I originally became a link leader just to skip the first day of school, and i thought it would look good when aplying for college. To be a link leader we had to go threw three days of summer training, which i particulatley didnt like because meeting new people isnt one of my strong suits, but i endured it and to my surprise had fun throughout training.
My actual community service started the first day of school. We couldnt use the new gym due to the floors being waxed, so we had to cross a sea of students and herd the freshmen toward our new destination. The link leaders joined hands at the entrannce and made the traditional, screaming tunnel. As the freshmen entered, the air was filled with the welcomes of all the leaders and administraters in the room. The freshmen were all caught off guard, much like deer in the headlights, about to get hit by highscool. Our first activity we participated in with the freshmen was a dance to sort of break the ice, most of the freshmen didnt partake in the fun , but those who did gave hope to me that this wouldnt be an awkward day with random people, but a day where we could meet new people and start lasting freindships. After the dance activity, we arranged them into groups and had those groups arrange themselves in alphabetical order according to last name. Nomaly this would be a fairly easy activity, but not when one rule was , no speaking. After about seven minutes of confusion they did it, and along the way developed something that to me looked like a botched form of American sign language. All in all having the freshmen in the gym with all the administraters was fairly easy , but soon came the part where we took our groops to our individual classrooms, for our breakout session.
We started our breakout session by playing name games, to better aquaint ourselves. And after most of the freshmen butchering my last name, we moved on. The next challenge was playing a game where we toss paper balls at each other and whoever receives the ball has to say the persons name who tossed it to them, their own name and whomevers name they were tossing it to. Essentialy an easy game , but as i saw the glazed over look in their eyes i decided to shake it up a little. So i sped up the game to a point where it seemed kind of like a paper ball tornado. The main point of the game being to cement the names of the group was lost, but an alternative goal of making them feel comfortable with each other was achieved. As the day progressed it got easier and easier, what had started off as a trek up Everest was now a walk in the park. Later, we played a game where we reveiled our dream jobs and future goals, all the dream jobs people chose were different and so were their backgrounds, and it kind of surprised just how different we all are and how we can still co-operate together. This was one of many pleasant surprises i had that day.
The day was over with, and i wouldnt apreciate its true value till days later. One Saturday i was at the mall with my friends , when i heard someone call my name. To my surprise it was one of my freshmen. He introduced me to his freind as his link leader and we played some video games at the nearby arcade together. We talked a little about school and he asked me about future classes he might take. I recomended some and told him to stay away from others unless he was ready to do some major work. He said thanks for the advice and left with his group of freinds and i left with mine. Later , thinking about my day, i realized what role i play in the lives of these freshmen. To me i play the figure of a role model , someone other than a teacher or parent they can talk to. This filled me with pride, Knowing that i make a difference. To this day i am thankful i became a link leader, not just to miss the first day of school , but to feel like a role model.

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