My Altbreak Experience | Photo/Video Diary

Hi all! I’m coming to you in my last term as a freshman in college! The journey (though it has been arduous and emotionally taxing,) has been eye-opening, and I cannot wait to do my first year of college reflection post sometime in June. But until then, let’s talk about my most recent endeavor: altbreak.

What is altbreak, Cierra?

Altbreak is short for ‘alternative break’, and is usually a school-sponsored service trip to various places. Here’s how my college, Oregon State, describes altbreak:

“Alternative break trips aim to develop the capacity for students to lead for social change. Alternative breaks enable students to immerse themselves in a community to learn its historical, cultural and political background.”

At OSU, there were three different spring altbreak trips: one in San Francisco, CA, exploring housing and food insecurities. Another in Yakima, WA, exploring indigenous struggles of land rights and culture. And finally, the trip I participated in: the Ashland, OR trip exploring environmental conservation, restoration, and justice.

What was it like?

While it had its pros and cons, the trip overall definitely had more pros than cons. I met incredible people that had way more life experience than me and therefore enlightened me on something new every other hour. I did hands-on environmental restoration work by removing invasive species of vegetation. I met various community partners that OSU has connections with (some of which, I would love to work with in the future) and learned about their missions. And most of all, I made an impact.

To avoid being overly repetitive and not-so-articulate about how I felt during the trip and what I did, I figured it’d be easier for myself and everyone asking to do a photo and video diary of the trip instead of writing a lot of words.

So here was my altbreak experience in a semi-chronological photo diary.

And here was the experience in video form.

(Pssst! This is the first YouTube video I’ve made in over 4 years! Making it reminded me of how much I love video editing.

Maybe it’s time to drift back into that realm?)

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