White picket fence dreams? Not so much.

30 Nov

Probably like most college students nearing graduation, I was beginning to get a little freaked out about what my next step would be. The “right thing to do” would be to find a well- paying job, get married, churn out 2.5 kids, and buy a McMansion with a white picket fence (complete with a really hideous minivan)… right? Not so much. I realized that although such a traditional path works for some, it wasn’t for me. I went to school for Social Work so I knew I wanted to do some type of work for the empowerment and enrichment of people’s lives. I knew I wanted to make a difference in my community and its stakeholders. But how?

I couldn’t have made a better choice than to participate as an AmeriCorps Public Allies member. This program is developing my leadership skills in what I like to think of as both a personal and public way. This is especially true of Continuous Learning (CL) Fridays (the best part of the program, in my opinion!) During CL Fridays, all the Connecticut Allies meet and engage in personal and professional development activities. Trainings so far have focused on Kingian Non Violence Conflict Reconciliation, Group Theory, Change & Transition, the current state of the educational system, and Meyers- Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) results among other topics.

It’s so good to have a feeling of perpetual growth through the program. More importantly, I know the skills I’m developing are ones I can carry with me into my next endeavor and even life in general. One example is that after discussing today’s education system, I realized I need to figure out why I don’t want to work in schools. So I reached out to a local school social worker and friend of Public Allies CT and will be shadowing him in the next couple of weeks!

Speaking of life in general, I’m faced once again with this question, “What’s my next step?” Do I want to do another service program? Do I want to move cross country (like fellow Ally and blogger Phil Drew did when he moved from Washington State to serve AmeriCorps in Hartford, CT)? Do I want to find a long term job? Do I want to go to grad school? No matter what, my Public Allies experience is cementing the realization that to engage in service (through volunteering, through working for and with nonprofits, through being not just a resident but a community member) is a super fulfilling way to move through life. Here’s to planning for a successful future!

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5 Responses to “White picket fence dreams? Not so much.”

  1. alessondra December 1, 2011 at 11:45 am #

    Your post made me start thinking… What IS next for me??…

    The question of “What’s next?” is always in the back of my mind. I never know what I’ll do next until I’m doing it! I’m in my second term of service and that lingering “what’s next?” question is slowing creeping up on me again. If I’m not careful, that question can turn into a panic inducing, call my parents, friends, and family members kind of moment. I found that if I approach the question from a “look at all these possibilities” view point rather than a “$*&T! what am I going to do!!?!!” view point, I have a much easier time figuring it out. So, although I don’t know what’s next for me, I am excited about the numerous possibilities I see ahead. Thanks for reminding me that asking “what’s next?” is not as scary as it can sometimes seem.

    -Alé
    PA Blogger

  2. Philip Drew December 5, 2011 at 10:20 am #

    Perpetual Growth. I like that. I want to have Continuous Learning days for the rest of my life… Somebody needs to get on that. I choose YOU!

    • imdelgado December 12, 2011 at 6:03 pm #

      Check plus!

  3. go the the site. August 2, 2012 at 9:37 am #

    Wise, wise words, I must say.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 22 | Ally Snapshots - June 25, 2012

    […] opportunities to engage in service for my community.  So bringing it full circle, I never had white picket fence dreams.  But my experience with Public Allies has taught me I don’t need ‘em! Share […]

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