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Thank You, ASB

Posted by on Monday, May 15, 2017 in Self-Discovery.

Agatha Fenech, ’19
College of Arts and Science

*Alternative Spring Break (ASB) gives Vanderbilt University students an opportunity to spend their Spring Break working in service to communities and individuals across the country and the globe.


ASB1Standing at the Student Org Fair.
Hearing your VUceptor say, “Hey, you should really check out Alternative Spring Break, you would love it.”
Applying, Interviewing.
Meeting your group at site reveal, ASunriseB.
Being slightly overwhelmed but more excited than anything.
Surviving your first semester at Vanderbilt.
Feeling like you are drowning during second semester.
Reaching out to your VUceptor.
Hearing her story of how ASB completely changed her Vanderbilt experience.
Listening to her, and still going on ASB even though you desperately want to go home.


Driving to Talequah, Oklahoma.
Sleeping in the lunch room at Cherokee Elder Care (#fullengagement).
Setting up a glow-stick 5k without nearly enough glow-sticks.
Calling your site leaders Mom and Dad.
Believing them when they said ASB was going to end with a blood ritual.
Seeing all the people you love from home in the people on your site.
Giving your first life map.
Feeling so comfortable just existing with a group of people for the first time since you came to Vanderbilt.
Being reminded what happy feels like.


Coming back to Vanderbilt after a transformative experience.
Knowing that 500 other people had similarly transformative experiences, but in 500 different ways.
Changing how you look at community service.
Understanding effective community service is about meeting an organization’s needs and furthering their mission.
Recognizing the power of service to bring people together.
Having 11 new family members on campus.
Realizing when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Coming back after an intense summer.
Applying to be a site leader.
Texting your “mom and dad” right after your interview.
Getting the call that you got it, and so did two of your best friends.
Loving that shared success is the best kind.
Telling every one of your friends, VUceptees, and Dore-for-a-Days to go on ASB.

Getting a new group.
Being so excited to love them as much as you love ASunriseB.
Bonding with All You Need is LoveSB.
Realizing you objectively have the coolest, funniest, nicest participants ever.
Glowing with excitement as spring break finally arrives.

Jamming to Kygo on the way to Beaufort, South Carolina.
Giving your life map first.
Buying fruit snacks for your group.
Volunteering at Mossy Oaks Elementary School.
Explaining parallel lines, area, and perimeter to fourth graders.
Watching your participants KILLING THE GAME with their kids.
Being so, so proud of your group.
Buying more fruit snacks.
Seeing the elementary school students love the people you love.
Convincing one of your participants that you were going to lead a blood ritual.
Witnessing the most beautiful sunset yet together.
Realizing that even though someone might be your polar opposite on the surface, you might actually get along and connect with them really, really well.
Having a perfect last afternoon.
Loving and appreciating everyone in your group more than you can put into words.

Coming back from ASB.
Seeing all your friends once they have returned from their ASBs.
Hearing about their ASBs.
Telling them all how fantastic your group was and how much you loved your service.
Getting dinner with your site from last year.
Getting dinner with your site from this year.
Feeling like your heart is going to burst with happiness and pride every time.
Finally understanding why your VUceptor told you ASB was going to change the way you see and exist at Vanderbilt.
Texting her, saying thank you, thank you, thank you.
Understanding that when you go and love someone for exactly who they are, they are instantly empowered.
Looking at a stranger on campus, any stranger on campus, and knowing how much you might find in common with them, or learn from them, or love them, for exactly who they are.


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