explain how your experience affected you as a person
I am much more passionate, compassionate, and more willing to understand peoples life circumstances after this experience. After attending monthly meetings, I learned that each person's connection to Relay is different, but we all have the same goal: to end cancer.
how did you change?
I became more aware of the amount of work it takes to plan this kind of event. I am more aware of the logistics that need to be included, and it made me learn to not assume things. We were shocked to hear that a middle school didn't have bathrooms near their track, and that they didn't have a concession stand. These little things adding up over the course of the year helped me to change the way I look at things.
how do you see the world differently as a result of your experience?
After this experience, I noticed that motivating people and getting donations is harder than expected. This event helped open my eyes to see people as passionate as I am, but it also showed me how hesitant people can be when it comes to donating, getting involved, and participating on the day of the event.
how did this experience impact or reveal your character?
My character was impacted by this event in the fact that I am now more outgoing, and I am more confident in social settings. In the past, meeting new people made me nervous, but now, after forming so many new positive relationships, it almost puts me at ease to meet them.
was this a meaningful experience? why or why not?
Without a doubt, this was a meaningful experience for me. I have always been passionate about Relay For Life and have seen my mom plan the event, but it was a great experience to do it for myself. One specifically meaningful moment was the ceremony that we have that is dedicated to honoring survivors, supporting fighters, and remembering loved ones we've lost. This is the time where someone can write a loved one's name on a paper bag and when the ceremony is ending you put a glow stick you received into your bag on the track. This was a really humbling experience to see all of the bags with names lit up around the track, and knowing I was a part of making it happen was extraordinary. It was really amazing to see everyone's hard work pay off at the end of the night, and it makes me excited for the year to come!
what new knowledge or skills did you learn from this experience?
From this experience, I definitely learned that things do not go as planned, and that's okay. In the beginning, I had a set way I expected things done, but they didn't go as planned and I learned how to work around challenges because of it. Due to these challenges, I feel more prepared for things that may come my way in the future.
what would you do differently if you were to start over?
I wouldn't do anything differently because the challenges I faced this year helped me learn and grow as an individual.