After working with the same group of students for two quarters, as well as experiencing life in a variety of environments together, I feel as if I have found a new family. I can tell you something personal about each person in the classroom, and I genuinely feel as if I have had the opportunity to get to know every single person in a more intimate way. I love the small classroom environment that LCS provides, allowing for more effective and open discussions on the topics we discuss in the program. I felt so comfortable in the class and I loved listening to the brilliance that my classmates had to share. I feel like our cohort was so diverse, having students with backgrounds from all over the map, as well as experiences that were incredibly unique. I’m very thankful for my classmates’ insights and experiences that helped me to enrich my own perspectives.
I am thankful for the opportunities that I have had to continue my service learning interests through LCS as well. I remember in high school how happy the volunteer work. At the time, my motivation for beginning this volunteer work was having content for my college applications. However, I always remember how elated and relaxed I felt after putting time into work that actually helped people. I was so blessed to find the Life Course Scholars program and have the opportunity to earn course credit, all the while gaining hands on experience in elder care as well as learning the intricacies of the process of aging.
The thing I am most thankful for is the small conversations and moments that come from the intergenerational interactions that our visits to various communities provide. Every conversation with every older person that I met through this program was genuine. I feel as if the work that I did in this program did have impact, especially on the micro-level. All too often do we focus on the importance of solving problems without focusing on the value of the individual. The micro-level changes are what I feel to be the most valuable simply because I can feel the gratitude so much more. This helps for each individual to be more inspired to continue making change.
I want to also thank Professor Bussell and Professor Lewis for founding this program and allowing the opportunity for an enriching and rewarding learning process. This class was without a doubt one of my favorite that I have taken at UCSD. I would highly recommend it to anyone, even someone who thinks of themselves as not being particularly skilled with working with older people. There is value in the experience of the program that I believe to be irreplaceable.