Today’s guest blogger is our OSI Marketing Team’s Technology/ Web Developer: Jorge Dominguez. He is a junior majoring in Information Technology. Jorge is currently the president of DePaul’s Mobile Application Team and a member of Sigma Lambda Beta Fraternity. Jorge recently came back from a UMIN Spring Break Service Immersion Trip in Montgomery, Alabama and here he shares his thoughts on the experience.
Going on a Service Immersion Trip to Montgomery, Alabama has been one of the most memorable life-changing experiences I’ve had here at DePaul. While on the trip we did community service in Montgomery while at the same time learned about and met people who partook in the Civil Rights movement. Through this trip I met new DePaul students and staff who share the same strive and dedication for helping out others by bettering the community. The relationships and friends I made through this trip will stay with me for a while. I can attest to this because coincidently, both Nicole and Teresa, now my co-workers, were part of the same Service Immersion group as me! Something that had an impact on me while on the trip was being introduced to living the “simple” life.
Before embarking on this trip as a group we established a set of rules for the week long trip, one in particular included living the “simple” life. What does this mean? You might ask. For us, it meant not using any sorts of electronic devices while on the trip. For the duration of the week we stayed at a Catholic Church Convent. At first I thought to myself how I was going to survive without checking my email or using my phone, which is something I regularly do. I then realized after a couple of days how much more free time I had at hand. It is said that a person checks their phone 34 times a day (CNN Article) on a regular basis. Not having my computer or phone at hand for the trip really opened me to being more social and made me appreciate the smaller things in life. Instead of checking my phone every half hour of the day I was able to immerse myself by paying closer attention to my surroundings and experiences. I also found this to be a stress reliever because I didn’t feel or have the necessity of checking my phone regularly as I am accustomed to do so.
In addition to not having our electronic devices we also bought groceries and cooked our own meals. Since I live in an apartment with three other roommates I rarely cook and mostly eat out. Eating and cooking our own meals made me realize how much money and waste you save from damaging the environment. When cooking I was able to spend quality time with my group and got to know them more on a personal level. Even though I experienced many eye opening moments on my trip, living the “simple” life while on this trip made me realize how much we rely on technology that we forget real life in person interaction is still the best way to communicate with one another.
Are you interested in learning more about UMIN’s Service Immersion Trips over Winter and Spring Break? Currently, UMIN is accepting applications for 2013 Winter Break Service Immersion Trips for more information visit their page here!!