This semester of ESP has been fun and busy, as usual. Every Friday, a few Colby students head to the Unitarian Universalist Church in Waterville and make heaps of sandwiches and lots of soup, and enjoy the occasional cup of tea. A few weeks ago, a group of students from Thomas College joined us at ESP, so we got to meet a wonderful group of similarly-minded, community-oriented people and learn about their studies and their passion to volunteer.

Going to ESP always provides us with a great chance to catch up with one another, talk about and relax from the stress of our weeks, and have great conversations with both friends and strangers. Carrick had a really interesting conversation last week with a woman who came in; she had previously worked at Colby and told us her story. Such chance encounters help us all keep life in perspective and realize how connected we all are. They teach us to be grateful for our opportunities, and they remind us of the very reason so many of us love to volunteer: to connect with our community.  So often—and so easily—we forget that Colby is not itself an isolated community, but part of the Waterville community (I mean, come on people, it’s not that big of a hill!). I love volunteering because it brings me closer to the community so that I feel a part of it more than I do at Colby.  Volunteering lets me expand my horizons and meet tons of incredible people I would not have met otherwise.