October 3, 2011

Situations Are Tricky

I've always thought that I worked in one of the best places in the world. I like my co-workers. My bosses treat me well. Almost everyone I met are super friendly, except for a select few. Also, I tend to feel too much empathy for everyone's situation.

Anyway, today an older student came into the center to turn in a scholarship application. I was excited to get the scholarship application because it was the first one we received. Anyway, he wanted to confirm that he had all the requirements. As I reviewed the application with my supervisor, she told me to suggest that he should rewrite his statement of purpose, because it did not contain enough compelling information. Going back in the waiting area, I had to tell him all that. He did not take the news well since he was a busy student. Additionally, he is a father and an international student. I told him to try and put more into his essay--try to explain how bad his situation his, tell us what he wanted to do with his degree, how much the money would help him. He understood what he needed, but he didn't want to revise his essay. His situation was clear and concise. He didn't want to lie in his essay just for a scholarship. He wanted to get the scholarship because they understood his situation. Essentially, he didn't want to write an elaborate essay filled with lies to get a scholarship; it wouldn't feel right. Hearing his argument, I agreed with him, but convinced him to eventually come back to pick up the scholarship and try again. Maybe this time he would write something more compelling because I honestly felt so sad about his situation: he's an older adult, has four kids, lost his job, and is trying to get through his last semester of college.

Anyway, I hear about these situations all the time during work. Everyone that goes to our center usually has a heart-breaking situation. I feel so much empathy for their situations that it hurts. I feel like I have no problems at all compare to others. Another thing, I am afraid that I will be desensitized by hearing so many people's situation. One day, I wouldn't care. I can't imagine the day that I become cold-hearted and just plain horrible. I don't know...I am scared. I'm full of what-ifs. I think the day I stop caring will mean that I stopped believing in the good in people.

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