One of the reasons why I value being a student in Loyola is because this school takes learning beyond simply academics. A big thing a majority of the students are involved with on campus is service work, either through organizations within Loyola or seeking opportunities from external programs. All student-athletes are required to do a certain amount of hours of service work and volunteering with their teams, and as a member of the women’s golf team, I have now for two years volunteered with the Special Olympics Hockey program.
This past Saturday (11/8), my teammates and I spent 8 hours volunteering at a hockey tournament with our special needs friends. As we worked the same event last year, we saw many familiar faces and were extremely delighted upon learning that they all remembered us too! We helped set up for the games and kept score, and during the times in between, we would interact with the players. It was amazing to see their competitiveness as well as sportsmanship on the court. Winning was definitely important, but making friends and having fun was of a higher priority.
Loyola has helped me learn that there is learning in giving. Over the span of those 8 hours, I learnt things that I otherwise wouldn’t have had I not volunteered. I realize that sometimes people take things in life too seriously and scrutinize over what they don’t have instead of the things they’ve been blessed with. That entire day, I heard none of special needs hockey players complain about anything. It was heart-melting to see them smile ear-to-ear all day and continuously thank my teammates and I for supporting them. All-in-all, it was a day packed with plenty of laughter and yet another reminder of how grateful I am to be a part of Loyola.