My Extracurricular Activities essay
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I am a very industrious student who is always ready to come up with new solutions and plans. Helping people and helping keep the environment safe are among my goals in my life. This is what prompts me to participate in many community development and environmental programs, mostly as a volunteer. For instance, I always attended tree-planting events in my area and also attended several clean-up activities in my high school years. This explains why working with the military was such a hugely important work experience to me.
Bolivia, my country of origin, is a poor country with ethnic groups and cultures that differ from those of other South American countries. Our language is also not common; it is known in only a few South American countries. It is mandatory for every young person to serve in the military of Bolivia. I served in the forces for one year. Bolivia, one of the poorest countries in America, does not have a strong military. For instance, the experience I had working with the Bolivian army is considerably different from what a soldier working for a developed country goes through, such as an American soldier. This is mainly because in Bolivia the army uses old equipment and structures. The army receives instruction using the old teaching methods.
Working for the military involves helping in times of emergency and natural disasters as well as defending the country against any threat to security. My day-to-day duties included delivering food supplies to the flood-hit and drought-affected areas. Additionally, we built structures and replaced bridges swept away by the floodwaters, repaired residential houses, communication lines, and irrigation schemes. In addition to that, there were daily exercises, which included running for more than fifty miles, biking and even paddling across steep mountains and fast rivers. This is just because if you are a loyal citizen and a member of the military, you have to be ready to overcome challenges and do what you do best.
The military is highly organized. There is a hierarchy in which orders are delivered. This requires one to follow orders from those above him, exercise loyalty and discipline. During this time, the Bolivian government started upgrading the equipment used by the military. During the exercise, one had to go under further training to enable them to use the more advanced equipment. It also meant that the amount of manual work was reduced and, consequently, the need for a large number of militants.
This was the most crucial experience I have ever had so far; an experience where I gained survival intelligence. Additionally, I learnt how to deal with various natural disasters, such as drought and floods. We would take medical help and foodstuff to people living in the affected areas. Moreover, it is in the army where I learnt much about first aid, which is very crucial. During those operations, we went through many hardships, such as going for several days without food, water, and means of personal hygiene.
The most crucial operation to me was a month when I was assigned to the defense team at the most insecure border of our country. We were quite many in the operation and had to work as a team. To succeed in the military, teamwork is always the way to go. During this period, we did a lot of technical work; we built temporary shelters, bridges, and fences at strategic points as well as communication structures. There was so much to do in this period of time that every minute counted. We rarely rested, since we had to stay alert during the nights.
During the operations, the militants are not sure if they will live for another day. This is particularly during wars and natural disasters. In fact, many deaths occur as a result of diseases like Malaria than from the real combat. The desire to win is what keeps them going. There are also security threats, both internal and external. For instance, Bolivia has been facing threats from Chile, while there exist internal tensions between the political and ethnic groups in the countries. Historically, the military has severally been involved in conflicts posed by the ethnic makeup of Bolivia. The military, also, has taken control of the government in numerous occasions to ensure the maintenance of national unity.
Total dedication is a key requirement for anybody working in the military. One works for long hours under pressure, and has to meet strict deadlines. Working here made me learn more about the dedication to duty and developing a will to win. I acquired a huge sense of confidence, achievement, and purpose. Self-discipline is also crucial. All these make up the ingredients of my engineering career and leadership. In fact, military operations relate a lot to engineering.
Since I was young, I have always had an interest in the way things work. My dream was to major in engineering; my interest in engineering was always there. I have always been fond of mathematics and physics since high school. When I joined college, I took ESL classes because I did not understand English. When I started to take my first physics and mathematics lessons, my interest for engineering grew stronger over time. I knew this was the career I would like to follow for the rest of my life. In college, we did theory work – one of the reasons I would like to transfer to a university is because the university curriculum offers the hands-on experience and real-work applications of what we learn in class.
Education is an investment: the more one dedicates to it, the better reward it gives back. This has been my driving force throughout my education. I know well that succeeding in life will require me to put focus on what is essential to achieve my goal. It is crucial that I know what I want, and this will help me reach where I need to be. This is a self-reflective process, which is quite hard but helps one identify why he needs what he does. Choosing where to study and making an application is part of that process. I have taken some time to research on all options that are open to me, and transfer to a university is my best choice. Therefore, major in engineering is the only way I can prosper in this career.
The major in engineering will be the best to transform me from what I am to what I should be. I have a strong background in mathematics and physics; therefore, a major in engineering is the best course for me. What attracts me most to the university is that it features unique and innovative programs. In addition, I am confident that my practical knowledge of engineering will multiply by interacting with my classmates. Additionally, being a student there puts one at a higher chance of acquiring a job if one takes his lessons seriously and does the internship well.