Updated: Aug 2, 2021
I think that there are many ways that people can help a community, and not all of them have to be grand gestures that restructure how we live or think. I think that every effort helps, but what is most important is that an effort is made, and when that effort is made there is great satisfaction that can be drawn from it. This summer, I worked as a sociology intern at Hospitality House, spending most of my time behind the front desk and interacting with our clients. Though that is not all I did, I spent time working in the pantry and in the kitchen as well and doing various other tasks that were required of me.
It was not always glamourous work, and as someone with serious social anxiety, working at the front desk really pushed me beyond my comfort level. But I truly do think it was worth it, I will not lie and say that every day was amazing, to do so I think would undermine the experience and the lessons I learned, and without challenge growth cannot take place.
I truly believe that working here has given me perspective and deepened my capacity for patience and empathy. It has given me many things to think about and to reflect on in future years.
And in working here I was able to meet some truly wonderful people. The environment was very inviting and friendly. I think without such an atmosphere I would not have been able to take away as much. And it was not just the staff who made the environment so welcoming, many of our clients were wonderful as well. Several made a habit of bringing us flowers to decorate the front desk with. There was one client who, when I was doing chores away from the desk, had a long conversation with me and told me all about their life and their experiences. Working with people who have such different experiences than I has done much to change how I see things and the world we live in.