Every week, members and partners of the Alternative Spring Break (ASB) community will share their Alternative Stories, a series of narratives inspired by the experiences, memories, and meanings made and shared through ASB. This week, we hear from site leader Rachel Sullivan, a Movement Science sophomore.
Though I wasn’t accepted to Alternative Spring Break (ASB) at first, when I came back for the second semester of my freshman year, I received an opportunity to join a group from the waitlist for Environmental Justice, which wasn’t my first choice, but still seemed like it could be interesting. Fall semester, I had felt pretty discouraged about being rejected and was ready to write off the whole idea. However, since the new year had just rung in I was feeling a bit more willing to take chances. And take chances, I did. Soon, this became the theme of the trip for me. Taking a chance on joining a group that had already been established. Taking chances on being a part of an organization I didn’t know much about. Taking chances on spending a week with birds.
Here comes the interesting part: I never really liked animals too much (except for my two pet cats). I was content with living in a separate world from animals. Especially birds. Birds were probably my biggest fear in this world prior to my ASB trip, so when I was informed that the group I would potentially be joining was focused on Animal Welfare in North Carolina, where they primarily cared for different types of birds, I was a bit apprehensive.
Then I thought to myself, how could I ever get over this fear unless I face it? How could I ever grow until I do something completely out of my comfort zone? With this, I made the decision to join the trip and had a blast the entire week. With the support of my new friends, I found it invigorating to take chances and face fears each day of the week. It was a huge learning experience for me, and I am so glad I had the opportunity to do ASB my freshman year and learn so much about myself, and while also being able to continue with the organization as a site leader this year, focusing on a different topic that is also new to me so I can take even more chances.
To share your Alternative Spring Break story, e-mail the ASB Public Relations Team at ASBSurPRise@umich.edu.