5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting a Year of Service By Frida Desantiago

Posted on January 22, 2019

As I reflect back on the past six months, I can’t help but wonder how different my life would have been if I never started Amate House. Would I still be working my dead end job? Would I have tried to finish my undergrad? Would I have stayed in that unhealthy relationship? I can’t help but think about how much this program has changed me, and we’re only halfway in! However, if I could go back in time and give myself some advice before starting I would start with these five tips.

1. Be a good communicator.  

Don’t be afraid to speak up. You might be the only one without a degree, but you are an intellectual being with important thoughts too. Don’t be afraid to make your voice heard.

2. Perfection does not exist.  

Don’t let your anxiety get the best of you. You will make mistakes, but that is how you will learn. Don’t punish yourself too much.

3. Self Care.

Part of your job will be giving as much as you can to others, but don’t forget about yourself. You are important too. It is not weak to take some time to yourself and gather your thoughts and emotions. In order to help others, you must first help yourself.  

4. Learn how to set boundaries.

As much as you enjoy your job, you can’t take work home with you. You can’t always stay one step ahead of everyone without burning yourself out. Don’t check your work email when you’re not at work. There is nothing urgent enough that can’t wait until 9am the next day.

5. Treat yo’ self.  

Yes, I get it. You’re only making $100 a month, but you’re working your butt off, so it’s okay to buy something you want every now and then! Buy the bronzer, buy the fancy apple juice, BUY THE THINGS. Don’t limit yourself too much. Money will come and go, but if it’s going to make you happy, then just buy it.