I’ve approached the point in my life, where a resume is something I keep on my person at all times. I’ve become more of a list person within the last several months- than my entire life- if that’s even possible. What skills do I have? Writes down a few things. Is proficient in Microsoft Office even impressive anymore?
Wrapping up the last year of my college experience, has had me waxing nostalgic about all the moments, people, and things that have made a difference in my life. When I started my freshman year, the possibilities for change were endless. I was finishing up old chapters that had to be left behind in my hometown. Along with half my closet, and everything that decorated the walls of my room. A place that I had called home for the last 18 years. Where everything that was familiar, comfortable and homey to me, was being abandoned. Left behind for something bigger, stepping stones, and the opportunity to begin again.
They don’t tell you when you leave for college, that uprooting your life is a hard adjustment. Even when you know it’s coming. You have to learn a new city, and acclimate to the weather, the people, and the change of pace. The food isn’t as good as mom’s cooking, and you begin back at the bottom of the barrel. But what fuels you to continue, is the promise of a shiny, and exhilarating time for being who you always wanted to be.
This is titled, What I couldn’t put on my resume, because you can’t list what it means to grow. To experience things for the first time. You can’t describe the people who have impacted your life in such profound ways. Or how joining organizations, really changed your outlook on college and eventually, the world.
All these things, I gained throughout the past four years, I am unable to sum up in bullet points. Because they are worth so much more than a piece of paper. When I moved into my dorm freshman year, I had been paired with a random roommate. She was kind, a little shy, and we went on an awkward dinner to Chili’s, to get to know each other. We talked about our hometowns, what we were involved in during high school. The entire conversation I remember just being homesick. We walked around the fair that was being held on campus. Even documented our first night in college with a photo of us standing uncomfortably far from each other. Each night in that tiny room, with our extra long twin beds, we grew closer, and became each other’s secret keepers, and life coaches. By the time winter break rolled around, we were already missing that 10×10 room, and each other’s company. Now as we finish off our college career, she is my best friend, and someone I could never have survived the last four years- let alone life- without.
Another item on my checklist for college, was to join a student organization. To push myself outside of my comfort zone, but also to meet new people. I found myself doing volunteer work with a small group of students, who had just founded the organization the semester prior. No one really knew what they were doing, and I enjoyed being a part of something new. As the year went on, I grew closer to the members, which inspired me to run for a leadership position.
Three years, and three different positions later. I am exhausted. I have cried. I have gotten angry. I yelled. There has been sweat, and maybe even some blood along this path. Our organization has seen five members, and we have grown to an astonishing 45 members. Collectively, we have rebuilt and revived something from the ground up. We learned what it meant to believe in something that looked hopeless. We have gained friendships, we have suffered loss and we have introduced something to the community- together. Something that has fed the homeless, farmed produce, raised money and hope for children battling illness, and twenty four sleepless hours of the most rewarding relay.
The moments that you can’t even begin to share about being selfless for others. The feeling of complete success and awe of what you created with like minded people. Watching an idea come to fruition. A dream realized. Accepting failure, and encouraging success. These things will continue to be a part of me. Realizing we made a difference for someone else, because all we wanted to do was spend our extra time well. Making time when you thought you didn’t have any. Seeing the world. Meeting people with stories that are nothing like your own. Becoming a person. Becoming whole.
How do you even begin to tell someone, that beyond the bullet points, and the expensive piece of paper; that in four years, you became someone who wanted to change the world. Maybe not all at once, but slowly, and steadily. That in four years, it wasn’t always within a classroom that you learned about life and everything that encompasses who you are. You became the kind of person you used to admire.
This is what growing feels like. This is how personal success reads. This is what I couldn’t put on my resume.¶