I thought that I owed tSB my time, but really, I owed myself the time to fully experience the Core Program

by Arya, 2023 Peer Leader

I didn’t plan to be a Peer Leader.
It’s embarrassing to admit but I chose to apply because I felt like I was robbing tSB by not contributing back to the program. As a prophet I rarely interacted outside my friend group, no one knew who I was, and yet I still was offered a once in a lifetime chance to attend Snowboarding Camp.

Despite what I’ve written, internally, I still owed something to the Service Board. And so, I returned, expecting the same program I experienced beforehand.

I didn’t plan to be wrong.
But when you can’t lean on the friends you already know, it’s only so long until you have to meet new people. There was fear, exhaustion, it was ingrained in my mind that I was unlikeable, and that reaching out would only lead to rejection.

Though I was never forced, I finally looked up from the ground and found that people aren’t as intimidating when you can see their smiles. From then on, every day I got another chance to listen and get to know someone, their ambitions, stories, experiences, and all of a sudden it didn’t matter who I presented myself as. In that moment I was just a person who was lucky enough to get a glimpse of a shooting star.

Being a Peer Leader has given me a chance to experience everything I missed as a Prophet.
The people, the sense of community, and yes, definitely the in-person program nights. I learned what it was like to care for someone, something, to fully immerse myself in the things I love. So, when people call me an enthusiast, it’s because I’m always excited for y’all.

I thought that I owed tSB my time, but really, I owed myself the time to fully experience the Core Program.

So thank you,
For everyone who made me feel welcome
And to everyone I could make a difference for

P.S: I didn’t get a chance to say this at graduation but, for every Mentor, tSB Staff, Intern, and SI, I’ve met along the way, I cannot describe in words the difference y’all have made for me (don’t underestimate your impact!!!). So just know, however far I go, everytime I push my growing edge, or cheer someone on, y’all are the reason it happened.