Finding the Value in Your Work

BY MARIA SAUER

As I look around campus as people go from one place to another, I wonder what drives them. Not necessarily what people are committed to that gives them a list of tasks that can be checked off but rather something that goes deeper than that. People go to meetings, to events and to classes, and, as they do this, I oftentimes wonder where it is that they find the value in their work.

Through my own involvements, I take time to pause and remember the passion that motivates me to live out the positions in which I find myself. The questions I frequently ask myself have prompted me to voice these questions to people I consider to be value­driven.

In her sophomore year, Nora Eckert ’17 has been involved with the Writing Center, Admissions, First Year Experience (FYE) and Oxfam America, currently as a co-president of the last organization. Though Nora’s involvements and impacts could go on and on, she is not motivated by the title of the position but rather by seeing how people’s passions and involvements affect campus life.

In my conversation with Nora, she described how these particular involvements, “satisfy areas that aren’t covered in my classes,” as she put it. “Unfortunately I haven’t had the chance to study peace and justice, but my involvement in Oxfam has satisfied an area of social justice in my life,” she said.

It is also through Oxfam that Nora experiences the passions of other students and is continually driven by that desire for a social change.

Similar to how Nora was able to satisfy areas of her interest through her campus involvements, Abby Swanson ’17 expressed the joy she experiences through her sorority, Alpha Xi Delta, and through her position as a Resident Assistant in Michels Hall..

When asked what motivates her, Abby responded, “If I feel passionate about something, it doesn’t feel like a chore, but it’s something I really want to do.”

This passion is evident in the joy she feels from the connections she makes as a Resident Assistant. What I found to be inspiring as Abby spoke was that she indicated how easy it is to feel weighed down by obligations but that, when you are driven by what it is that you value, you are able to find genuine satisfaction.

Another student I had the opportunity to speak to was Bailey Bushman ’17.

Through her involvements with Leadership and Student Engagement (LSE) and Delta Phi Epsilon, Bailey described how “through my involvements, I have been afforded the opportunities to network with others, find my passion and develop my leadership skills.”

It is through her involvements that Bailey has found her passion and her drive to engage with campus life.

Bailey went on to say that, “being on the St. Norbert College campus helps you connect with others. To see this impact is rewarding in itself.”

The students that I had the opportunity to interview spoke from a place of value and passion as they described their involvements. These were not another item to check off on a to­do list but rather a way for them to live out their passion in the opportunities our campus has presented to them.

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