From Free Time to Big Time
I was going to school and had enough scholarship funding to cover my tuition, housing, books, and food.
I also received residual checks after my tuition and housing were paid due to the amount of scholarships I had coming in.
Therefore, I did not have to work for extra money to cover gas for my car or other activities if I choose not to.
I was living a college student's dream.
I could literally go to class, do homework, and just hang out.
However, after doing so during my first semester, my life seemed boring.
Therefore, I began to look for something extra curricular to do.
First, I joined the Army Reserves.
This enable me to serve my country one weekend a month, and receive even more college funding.
It also provided me with an additional way to generate some income to have fun with.
Next, around my college campus, there were many offers to help and be a leader on special committees.
At the time, I only saw myself being a volunteer to fill some space in my daily timeline.
I did not realize how many leadership skills I could or would pick up from simply volunteering.
I did not realize how helping people out freely would later prosper me.
To me, the thought of placing the volunteer positions I held on a resume did not seem legit.
I did not respect volunteer opportunities like I respected jobs that paid.
I only thought wage paying jobs were sufficient to prove my ability to do certain things.
However, even being a volunteer presented its challenges for me as a leader.
I had to learn how to deal with people and lead them to success without being paid for it.
I saw how being a leader involved me doing extra work even after the volunteer or committee hours were over.
Though I enjoyed every moment of it, I did not know it would be as demanding as it was.
Eventually, my college days of class work and volunteering came to an end, and it was time to start working in a career field.
It was time to put the things that I learned while in college to use.
It was time to see just how much college experience had done for me.
A light began to come on when I was promoted to Sergeant in the Army Reserves.
I was promoted with many of my peers on the same day.
This meant that we were equal in seniority due to our dates of promotion.
However, as time progressed, I was put in charge of them on special assignments due to my leadership skills.
Next, I was sent to the Army's Warrior Leadership Course.
This was a course I needed to not only maintain my rank, but be eligible for promotion to the next level.
While there, I was put in various leadership roles once again due to my experience as a leader.
There, I was one of five soldiers selected to be given a coin out of 200 plus soldiers for my display of leadership capabilities.
Finally, after securing a day job, I made it through the leadership program swiftly due to how well I passed the leadership tests.
Within a matter of months, I was promoted to a position that was three levels higher than my current position.
Once promoted, I was picked to perform special duties including training new supervisors on how to be supervisors in their work areas.
After all of the numerous recognitions and promotions, it was obvious that people saw something special in me.
It was obvious that they recognized my leadership capabilities.
It was obvious how much volunteering for leadership positions in my college days had paid off in my current career.
As I look back at my college years, I am thankful to have volunteered to be a leader for those committees and organizations.
I am glad that I spent my free time helping make others' lives better while creating a future for myself.
I am excited to say that by using my free time to volunteer, I was later rewarded with a big time career.