This past weekend I found myself on the precipice of the unknown. Literally on the precipice. Of a 30 foot ladder. And, yes, I did look down.
You see, I was volunteering with other Drake Habitat for Humanity members to help rehab a pretty, old home in the Drake neighborhood. Through all the structural work had already been completed, we were there to paint the exterior and spruce it up a bit. Honestly, I felt pretty good when I heard our task. I mean I’ve gotten to pick up some incredible skills like shaping siding, caulking, and supporting a foundation through Habitat work. But there’s also just something comforting about good, old-fashioned painting. It’s easy, it’s simple, and you can see the results of your work right away.
Or so I thought.
Turns out that they needed someone to paint the top potion of the house, right under the roof. And thanks to my poorly timed can-do attitude, that person was gonna be me. I don’t have a crippling fear of heights, but I don’t exactly love them either. And as I crawled my way up that giant, seemingly wobbly ladder, it struck me that this was a somewhat uncharacteristic move for me. Just three years ago, I could never imagine myself being the one to volunteer to climb the biggest ladder in the world (basically) and reach out over the edges. I don’t want to overstate my bravery in this situation. I’m not Batman, and I was just painting a house. But then again, I’ve never even seen Batman paint, so you tell me who’s the hero.
The point is that I did something different, something a little bold. But isn’t that what college is all about? I think I can speak for myself and my Drake classmates when I say that we’re here to test our limits, to push ourselves, and try things we never thought possible. For some of us that might mean discovering an entire new major and making the switch from Pharmacy to PR. Others might find their passion in extracurriculars with rock climbing or an a cappella group. Maybe it’s even the experience of meeting new friends that causes people to grow and expand their boundaries.
Whatever the experiences, none of us is the same person we were when we arrived on this campus. Being a Bulldog forces you to grow and change in ways you never imagined. So, expect the unexpected, and know that sometimes the best experiences come from deciding to just climb the ladder and see what happens.