Wait, my four years of college at the University of Oregon are over?? The days of sleeping in after late nights and working to benefit only my own personal degree have come to an end. Newly graduated and heading into the real world, life took a sudden jump onto a fast track. It became a fast track of work and greater responsibilities to something larger than myself.
In my first few weeks I’ve had increased responsibilities and impacted more people than I knew was possible as an intern straight out of college. Researching current events and the nonprofit efforts of organizations like the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, can make the world seem both smaller and bigger at the same time.
As part of my adjustment to Portland I have had to change my previous commute style of walking less than a mile to class. I now ride the Trimet Max Green Line from Clackamas to Portland on someone else’s schedule. Living in a small college community for four years has opened my eyes to how different a larger city like Portland can be for a person who had become comfortable in a student role. It opened my eyes to how simple interactions and processes can effect so many people that you really don’t fully comprehend in college (at least I didn’t).
In my short time in the ‘real world’, I’ve appreciated how powerful a single idea can be when implemented with the right intentions. Each life is important and matters, and one person can make a difference. Nonprofits are known for providing opportunities and guidance to create a better world and I feel grateful to see great people striving to do great things daily.
I will definitely miss my wonderful college years, but that time in school lead me to new great experiences and gave me the skills to help create a better world. And who could ask for more?