“Where do we go from here?” – Morgan Vacca ’23

This semester, I officially began my junior year of college. Even just typing that is scary for me. I have no idea how I suddenly have less than two years to be a student. Though I’ve loved this year so far, the fact that I am now an upperclassman has made me appreciate every moment I have here a little more. Holy Cross helps me to seek discomfort and grow as a person every single day. However, I always worried that once I left Holy Cross, such opportunities for growth wouldn’t be possible anymore.

On December 1st, I had the chance to participate in a Community-Based Learning Dialogue Session called “Where Do We Go From Here? Living a Life of Service and Justice.” At the session, we discussed careers focused on service and justice with three alumni: Theresa Becchi (‘10), the Associate Director at Counterpart International, Jack Chaffee (‘20), an Assistant at L’Arche Jacksonville, and Paulina Martin (‘21), an AmeriCorps Volunteer at Maggie’s Place. It was so interesting to hear about their occupational journeys and perspectives on their time at Holy Cross. 

It’s hard to pick out just a few things that struck me about the session. However, each speaker had so many interesting things to say, and important takeaways they wanted the students to have. Paulina talked about how her year of service has taught her to measure productivity in a more meaningful, qualitative way, and implored students to trust where their gut “tugs” them in navigating life post college. Jack Chaffee also emphasized the idea of trusting your gut, and discussed how engagement with his community was what ultimately gave him clarity on what he wanted to do with his life. Theresa spoke about the benefits of seeking discomfort and being persistent in finding your place. Ultimately, I walked away from this dialogue session still appreciating the fact that I’m a Holy Cross student, but also feeling more optimistic about the days when I’m not anymore. Because of this dialogue session, I understand that as long as I cherish connection with others, step outside of my comfort zone and trust myself and my abilities, I will be able to find meaning and fulfillment in whatever career I choose to pursue.

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