I joined NSOCO for about a week, and I spent a great time with great leaders of NSOCO and great new freshmen of Willamette University. During NSOCO, I learned a lot of things such as volunteer work in America, leadership, and myself.
Each day of NSOCO, I worked in many different places, and helped people who needed our help to make better environment for both people and animals. Mostly, I cleaned the Oregon Coast. Through NSOCO, I could learn that many people manage the organizations as volunteers. I was surprised about that, and they were willing to work there although it was physical labor. They encouraged me to work hard, and I wanted to contribute with them.
Also, I think NSOCO leaders had great leadership skills. From my leadership position at World Language Studio, I learned the importance of leadership is to work hard, lead others, and pay attention to others. I think all NSOCO leaders have these elements, so I was really impressed. Since I could not speak and understand English well, they helped me anytime I didn’t know what I should do, and explained to me about the organizations in easy English whenever I asked questions to them. I think they wanted me to understand why people needed our help, what we had to think about them, and what we could do now for them. In addition, they led NSOCO members during every reflection time that happened after volunteer work each day, and their working images made me respect them. I respect them as leaders because they showed their responsibilities for volunteer work and the NSOCO group by their actions. Leaders called out to members to see how it was going with tasks. That made me happy and motivated because they paid attention to members even though we were tired.
All of NSOCO members this year were highly motivated, and really enjoyed volunteer work, so I also enjoyed all volunteer work because of them and talking to them. Sometimes it was hard to interrupt their conversation because their speaking was so fast, and I could not understand what they were talking about. I felt sad and lonely a little, and I was worried that they didn’t want to talk with me. However, they were very friendly and kind, so I spent very fun time with them, playing card games together. I really remembered that it was enough time to make me open up to the members. Actually, I’m shy and not a talkative person, so I felt irritated at myself because I couldn’t express my feeling and opinions though I had many of them. However, I could change myself, and I could be close to realize my ideal that I tried to speak to NSOCO members; to communicate with Americans without any hesitations. I did all I could during NSOCO.
NSOCO was a good opportunity to learn not only volunteer work, but also leadership. I could realize I really liked volunteer work, and I want to contribute to the people and the organizations that need help. Also, I could make a new goal for myself by learning leadership from NSOCO leaders. I want to make use of it for the rest of my study abroad though it is only 2 months. I could know a good deal more than I expected. I want to say thank you to all NSOCO members and TIUA for giving me such a good opportunity. I will never forget all memories of NSOCO.