What do you do when you don’t keep up with the news but you still need to appear worldly for your college apps or just like, small talk in general? You do something that shows people you care about the rest of the world without really like, actually caring. You show, don’t tell. In other words, you go on a service trip.
A betch who goes on a service trip usually falls under a few categories: high school student who wants to get into an Ivy (as previously mentioned), recent college grad on a gap year who’s not ready to enter the real world yet, or a really passionate betch who just wants to help the world and those less fortunate. JK about that last one.
Common destinations for service trips include Costa Rica, post-Katrina Louisiana, and of course, Africa. Not a particular country in Africa, just Africa in general. A lot of people do Habitat for Humanity or some other similar program, unless you’re going to Africa in which case your only option is to feed the starving children, nothing else.
There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a betchy service trip, if there is such a thing. The first is location, specifically climate, specifically warm weather. Half the point of going on one of these things is to come back with something to show for it, aka a killer tan. Next, you want to choose a trip with cool people on it. The easiest way to do this is obv to convince all your besties to come (“But guyyyysss it’ll look sooo good on our resumes!”). If that doesn’t work, ask for recommendations. I’m sure your camp friend can put you in touch with another mutual friend so you won’t be alone.
Finally, even though volunteering might not be your thing, try to choose a cause that you don’t actively hate. Like, if you have a fear of needles don’t volunteer to administer flu vaccines (or whatever). If you can’t speak a word of Spanish, maybe don’t go to South America. You get the idea.
But you can’t just choose your trip, plant trees in Israel, and call it a job well done—the whole point (aside from the tan) is telling people about it, fucking duh. If you don’t brag to your closest family and friends about all the good you did for the world, did it really happen? Answer: No.
First step: change your profile picture to you and an underprivileged child the second you get home. This is important; it has to be a kid. The younger, the better. This will earn you major credibility and altruism points (not that it’s a contest, but if it were you’d obv be winning). Next step: Practice the phrase, “It was ah-maaaaazing.” This will be your one-size-fits-all answer for when people inevitably ask you how [insert third-world country] was. Even if it sucked and you had to pee in the dirt, it was “ah-maaaaazing.” Final step: Make sure you talk about your trip a lot so people know how caring and selfless you are, but like not so much that you become annoying. Also, stop talking about it after like, a month. After that nobody will even pretend to GAF.
One last thing: whatever you do, DON’T become that annoying person who, much like that bitch you know who returned from study abroad, feels the need to incorporate local vocab into her new everyday life. You’re not Cady Heron, you’re not going to make Jambo happen.