Immediately after graduating from college, it seems to be the common trend to go directly to graduate school or settle down and get an “adult job.” This is not the case for everyone, including soon-to-be Mercer University graduate Rebecca Dickinson.
Dickinson is putting her law school dreams on hold for a year to teach English in Thailand with the Service First program. She said that the decision to take the gap year was easy after talking to her sister, who completed the Service First Program two years ago.
“I feel kind of burnt out after four years here [at Mercer], and I wasn’t sure I was ready to go straight to law school for another three years of school,” Dickinson said.
Dickinson said she is excited to travel to Thailand but most excited to fulfill her passion for philanthropy.
“I thought it would be a good experience to do something else, help others and do something more with my life than just studying,” Dickinson said.
The goal of the Service First program is to “connect Mercer University graduates to the needs of the world,” according to the Mercer website.
This is exactly what Dickinson will be doing. With majors in both history and Spanish and a minor in political science, Dickinson said that she is confident Mercer has prepared her for her future endeavors.
“I feel like Mercer prepares everyone for when they leave. There are so many opportunities on-campus for people to get involved in,” Dickinson said.
Dickinson is the former philanthropy chairwoman of the Chi Omega fraternity at Mercer and is a member of several honor societies, including Phi Eta Sigma, Phi Sigma Iota, Phi Alpha Theta and Phi Beta Kappa.
Along with Spanish and history, Dickinson also has a passion for photography — especially nature photography.
“I love capturing things in the moment,” Dickinson said.
She is hoping to use her love for photography during her service in Thailand.
“I talked to the director who runs the program over there, and he wants to me to start a photography club at the school I’m at and try to teach them English through photography,” she said.
Along with excitement, there is normally some fear involved when going to another country for the first time.
“It’s going to be so different than life here,” Dickinson said. “It’s going to be such a culture shock, but I’m really looking forward to the experience.”