When I was in my in elementary school, I always looked forward to the summer. The months of April and May meant that I can eat, watch TV, and sleep all day. Many summer nights were spent playing hide and seek at night and frolicking in Laguna de Bay.
Things changed when I went to high school. I always wanted the summer to be over because I was having such a grand time in high school. It was a stage that I conquered with great success. Summer meant leaving the stage and that is something that I wasn’t very much fond of.
The summer of 1999, the summer after I graduated from high school, I went to work as a student assistant for STI San Pedro. It was a very good experience for me and I was even offered a scholarship. I did not accept it since I got admitted to the University of the Philippines, my dream university. However, that summer experience with STI proved to be a very good training ground for me and it set the pattern for the next three summers. I became a student assistant.
For the last 7 summers, I have done nothing but work and go on the traditional outing. I am hoping that this summer will be different. I feel the need the need to give back and I hope that there are others like me who feels that way to. Here are just some ideas for giving back this summer:
- Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. I know the sun’s scorching hot on some summer days but as a former volunteer, believe me when I say that it’s better than building a house when it is raining.
- Teach children in your barangay. My sister used to teach pre-schoolers as part of a youth development organization during summer months.
- Go on outreach missions. If you are still in college, this is the perfect time to learn by experience. Join organizations that do outreach activities. These include college organizations as well as non-profit groups.
- Learn a skill and share it. TESDA offers some short courses at affordable prices. Instead of poring over theories, why not learn by hand this time? And when you are done learning, share it with others.
- Join the Red Cross. A country can never have too many volunteer. Learn how you can save lives at the Red Cross.
Personally, I think spending your summer giving back to others is better than spending ito on some fancy resort or going on a Branson, Missouri vacation. Knowing that you are making a difference, or at least taking the effort to make one, gives a sense of personal satisfaction that no leisurely vacation can match.