The reason why I decided to join NSOCO was simple. I wanted to be friends with lots of freshmen. I hadn’t been able to make Willamette friends before, so I thought that this is a big opportunity for making friends.
At the first day, I was so nervous, just like other freshmen. However, my anxiety disappeared very soon. They were very friendly to me, so we could get along! Also, NSOCO only had 19 people including 5 leaders. It had been the reason we could get along very soon.
We had many volunteer opportunities. I especially remember about volunteering at Salem Interfaith Hospitality Network, which is providing hospitality to homeless families. I tried to remove weeds, but there were so many weeds, so I couldn’t remove much more. Even though, I couldn’t finish, my group members said, “Good job, Wakundo!” to me. I was so glad to they say that.
There are two things that I was very glad about on NSOCO. First one was a compliment, from the other group members. We complimented each other a lot. When I was complimented, I got much more energy and motivation to work. Second one was an appreciation for our volunteering. At each place we did volunteering, we were appreciated by community people. I had greater feeling than when I worked before. We usually work for money, but we had really worked for people. It might be self-satisfaction, but I would like to say I obviously worked for people!
I realized how wonderful volunteering is. Those experiences are unforgettable for me. In addition, I got along with some freshmen. We did a campfire and talked together every night. I will never forget experiences in NSOCO. I absolutely recommend joining this program to next years' ASP students!