SNHU’s Student Government Association and Penmen Press at the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk in downtown Manchester. (image credit: Megan Palmer)

As students, for many of us, Manchester, New Hampshire is our second home. While Manchester may not be the place many of us grew up, took our first steps, or where our high schools lie, it is still a place we hold to our heart and where have placed a pin on the cork board of our lives.

Because of this, it becomes impossible not to want to give back to it.

Though maybe not the place that gave us childhood memories, it is the place that has given us the ability to grow, to learn, to make mistakes. As such, making a point to be a part of the larger community beyond just SNHU is not only essential but a responsibility. Our service, in many ways, is the rent we pay on calling this place home.

Many students have found this ability in offices such as the Center for Community Engaged Learning, within their classrooms, their internships or service projects organized in every aspect of community life. But it is important that we, too, seek them out.

One opportunity that presents itself each October is Manchester’s Making Strides event at Arms Park to raise money and awareness for breast cancer research and survivors. Each year, our organization participates, showing strength and love for a permanent community, even though our time in it may be temporary.

This event, for us, is a chance to support those in the local area with our attendance, our fundraising, and our solidarity. It can be easy, as a college student, to become complacent in our actions. We balance work and class, families and friends, clubs, organizations, and everything in between.

These are the years of our lives when we are “allowed” and even encouraged to be selfish. To focus on ourselves and our own personal growth.

But in the same token, it is critical to utilize this time of change and development to also support our community. Through service and action, we can both create opportunities of growth within ourselves as well as within the environments that enable and empower us to do so.

So this is our call to you. To every student who, for whatever period of time, does in fact call this place home. Give back. And give thanks.

Take the time to appreciate the city and the community beyond the SNHU you love and find new ways every day to celebrate it. Whether it is walking, marching, volunteering, finding a cause that you are passionate about: do it. Your time at SNHU may be temporary, but SNHU’s time in Manchester is not.

Be an active part of your community and be an active participant in your college years.

It will make all the difference.

The Penmen Press. (image credit: Michelle Fortin)

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