I am not an emotional type of girl. Rarely will I shed a tear, get extremely worked up about something, or let somebody upset me. My friends have only seen me cry in two situations; I am laughing so hard I shed tears of joy or, something tragic has occurred such as a death. I have known my friends for years and I never cry around them. I knew the girls in Connecticut for six days and they made me cry when I left.
This past summer I was privileged to participate in a service trip to Bridgeport, Connecticut. There, I met eleven other Sacred Heart students ready and willing to do the same thing I was, serve the community. The trip description was Habitat for Humanity.
The trip was a total of six days, five of which took place on-site at Habitat homes. Every morning we would wake up at the crack of dawn, prepare for the day and head out. We did everything from cleaning out a former drug-dealer’s attic to clearing a run-down school for refurbishing. Each evening, we would reflect on the day during dinner and then the magic happened.
As I mentioned earlier, we would go to the site, come home, and then the magic happened. As Sacred Heart students, there are five goals that are lived by. In every school however, there is an unwritten goal regarding food and eating. The group of girls in Connecticut really bonded on this topic. After the first night, we talked endlessly for hours. It wasn’t the awkward get to know you chats. No, this was the deep conversation- learn everyone’s life story type of conversation. By the end of the time, I could recite the most detailed description of everyone’s life. It was so difficult to leave this group. No one wanted the trip to end so we made it last as long as possible. We pulled an all-nighter. I have never had so much fun in my life. We shared our stories from our lives and also from the days of service. We bonded over the strangest topics and talked all night.
In the morning, when it was time to go, everyone was heartbroken. Not only were we leaving an amazing opportunity to help the city of Bridgeport, but we were leaving behind our best friends for the week. As we were saying our goodbyes, I could feel the tears coming. I knew I would still keep in touch but it was hard to let go. I didn’t know what our future held for us and I didn’t know if our paths would ever cross again. What I did know was how I had the pit in my stomach that I knew I would really miss these girls. As all of this was hitting me at once, the tears came. I didn’t feel uncomfortable as I would have expected. I just didn’t want it to end.
To this day, I still keep in touch with them, even planning a reunion. I haven’t lost a friendship in anyone of them. If anything, the distances have made us stronger and better friends. It is amazing how service can affect one’s life. It definitely affected mine. It even made me cry.
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