• Breaking Out of the Bubble

    Posted on January 27th, 2014 msmith88 No comments

    I grew up in a small, suburban town called Old Tappan in New Jersey. Twenty years of my life have been spent in this area. I’ve finally realized that in those twenty years, I’ve been living in a bubble. Through my elementary school years I grew up as any other child had done. I’d go to school every day, come home to my mom, dad, and brothers, and tell them about how we learned how to do long division or write in cursive in class. I had friends; and my friends had very nice families from what I saw. Maybe not like mine, but maybe I was just biased.

    To me, Old Tappan seemed like a perfect, and happy place back then. It wasn’t until highschool that I saw my “Old Tappan bubble” begin to slightly deflate. I started to see that my friends’ “very nice families” weren’t like my own after all. Some of my friends just didn’t seem as happy as I was, and I didn’t quite know how to relate to that. Maybe the town that I’ve known forever wasn’t the cookie cutter material I always thought it was.

    When I first decided to come to Virginia Tech, I honestly thought Blacksburg would be the same as Old Tappan had always been to me. I pictured students exactly like me: trying to do their best in school and eventually graduating with a degree. It wasn’t until I joined my sorority that I realized the bubble that I’ve been living in wasn’t a reality.

    One of my first experiences in my sorority will always resonate with me. It was for our philanthropy called Mock Rock. I was new, so I had no idea what Mock Rock was. We were told that Mock Rock raises money for victims of domestic violence in the Blacksburg and the New River Valley. The proceeds we raise go directly to the Women’s Resource Center to help women and children who have experienced some form of domestic violence. I remember thinking, domestic violence? Around Blacksburg? I was caught off guard. And I wasn’t used to this, because I was used to the bubble the Old Tappan has always been. Mock Rock opened my eyes to the reality that not everybody is fortunate to have a normal living situation like I’ve always had. All I knew was that I wanted to be a part of making these victims lives better again.

    Through Mock Rock, 34 amazing organizations participated to help raise funds through our three-day event. We raised $35,000 for victims of domestic violence. Since my sorority works closely with the Women’s Center, we were able to see the reactions of the women and children when they saw how much we raised. It’s something that I will never forget.

    Now, as a third year student at Tech, I am aware of the realities that life will throw at people. Some will be lucky enough to dodge these obstacles. Others will not. I’m thankful that I’ve broken out of the bubble I’ve been in for twenty years, because now I can lend a hand in hard times for those who need it. I can also live through Virginia Tech’s motto, “Ut Prosim.”