Option #5: Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family
The scorching heat from the sun pressed against my face as I walked from block to block. Just the fact that I had left the house gave me a strong sense of denial running thought my spine. A close friend had introduced me to this summer volunteer program called "Joycamp 2011" in a local church and promised to come along; however, to my surprise, he had another job. The motives of returning home kept emerging in my mind, but I decided that I might as well try something new for a change.
I entered into the structure to find a spacious hall filled with volunteers around my age. Their smiles and laughs made it seem if they had already met. I wasn't used to interacting with unfamiliar people, thus, I stepped to the corner with my eyes nervously wandering around. "Everyone circle up," said the director, clapping his hands. With anxiety, I joined, and we were asked to introduce ourselves, but with a twist; we had to add a motion that represented us with everyone else repeating it afterwards. One by one, they crawled and flapped and danced. Even thought it was graceless, judgment was not apparent on anyone's face. I felt like they were trustworthy people; a group I could depend on. When my turn came, I introduced myself and nervously waved to everyone.
We soon ended the ice breaker and were shortly assigned to groups to prepare for the arrival of children. Throughout the two weeks of camp, I was comfortable letting my co-workers direct daily arts and crafts activities for the kids. They knew the design of the lessons, how to attend the kids, and even discipline them. But I only watched and assisted the counselor behind the scenes.
During class one day, two children were rather rowdy and were pushing, shoving and even punching each other. As I thought of reporting them to a more experienced peer, they became louder and louder, disturbing everyone else around them. I had no choice but to take them to another room, only to see them continue blaming each other. "Stop!" I responded. Silence fell upon them as they looked up at me. My body started shivering as I felt the air thicken. "Why did you do that? Do you know how rude that was?" I asked them. I had a moment of anger as I looked down at them. The two children were close to tears. When neither of them answered, I feared that I may have pushed him too hard. Was I too loud? Could I have been too mean?
Sweat consumed my hands as I rubbed it against arms. What did I get myself into?
My heart rushed rapidly as heat flowed through my body. It was neither the temperature nor the intensity, but it was fear. I realized that whatever I might say can have a lasting impact on them; however, their behavior was not tolerable. I reminded myself what my peers would do. With a calmer voice, I explained to them of their wrong doing. They responded with a promise to not act out again.
As they walked back to their class, my co-worker patted me on the shoulder and said "good job". My doubts were soon replaced with confidence that assured me that what I did was right. I realized then that it was myself that I had feared. Not having enough courage and self-assurance that had crippled and glued me to the seat at home. I needed to trust in myself and take hold of my own responsibilities. Perhaps it is not about becoming independent, but to know I have community to learn from.
The summer temperate wind drifted against me with each stride I took. I rushed into the scene. passing the "Joycamp 2013" banner to a room of familiar faces. "Everyone circle up" I said. I am currently a core director.