During my time at Oregon State University I was involved in a myriad of activities. From Greek life, to cheerleading to being Benny the Beaver to practicum experiences through my major; I was always on the go. Nothing, however, compares to my time working at Recreational Sports. Even a decade after graduating, I still communicate more with my former Rec Sports “family” members than anybody else from my time at Oregon State.
Rec Sports guided me through a formative time of my life and many of the lessons I learned while working at Recreational Sports have been cornerstones of my post graduate life:
Whether it was greeting people at the front desk, teaching somebody to rock climb for the first time or volunteering with the center’s first-ever student marketing team, I experienced what it meant to do something I loved. For me, this meant introducing people to new experiences and providing individuals with healthy, positive activities to be involved with. As a current high school teacher, this lesson has inspired much of my work with teens. I constantly seek to provide students with new experiences and constructive ways for them to improve their school through the community service class I teach at Thurston High School.
I consider my former Rec Sports co-workers extended family members. I have never worked at a place where everybody looked out for one another like we did at Dixon. As student workers, we loved our jobs and loved being around each other. Work never felt like “work” at the rec center because we spent our shifts surrounded by people we laughed with, shared stories with and most importantly, cared about. Four-hour shifts passed by in a flash and nobody ever thought twice about covering a closing shift for a co-worker who needed to study for a midterm or even the dreaded 6:00 a.m. opening shift for sick colleague. That experience left such an indelible mark on me that is was one of the first qualities I sought for when choosing a school to begin my career as an educator.
I am thankful for my time at Oregon State University and every time I come to a Beaver football game, I walk by Dixon Recreation Center and often feel a sense of nostalgia for the lessons, memories and friendships I graduated with due to my time as an employee at Recreational Sports.