How I changed the world

Mitchell Carrington

Sometimes we don’t notice, but we do have the ability to make change. We’re often underestimating ourselves and our capabilities in life. We might not always be able to change the biggest issues in life, but we do have the ability to change many small things. These small changes can add up quite quickly, and turn into real changes that have an impact on people’s lives.

I was a representative on Lakehead University’s Food Committee; I had been for 2 years. And if someone told me that I was going to be able to make changes in people’s lives, I probably wouldn’t believe them. In my first year as a representative on the Food Committee, I hadn’t accomplished more than menu suggestions. Even then, a lot of my suggestions were not adopted.

One of the biggest complaints during Food Committee meetings in my first year was the lack of weekend food options — everyone seemed to agree on this. It was time for a change, so I decided to apply for a position in the RFoC Dining Hall (also known as the Residence Cafeteria). I was hired.

I worked as a display cook on weekends, which created a new option for students looking for food on the weekend. By the next month, I was receiving compliments in the Food Committee meetings for the good job I was doing in the RFoC Dining Hall.

During my second year, I was no longer a display cook, but I was still an active member of the Food Committee. This time my changes didn’t involve me getting a job and doing work, but making suggestions.

The Avila Express (also known as the Avila Cafeteria) was known for its lack of food selection — people only ate there because it was close and convenient. I had been trying to change the lack of selection since the previous year, and my persistence eventually led me to victory. I suggested that soups and pizza be added to the existing Avila menu, and within a month, these suggestions became changes. To this day, these changes remain in effect.

You might think that getting soup and pizza added to a menu isn’t much of an accomplishment or change, but being able to hear my peers say that they enjoyed their dinner is heartwarming. All I did was suggest two small things that had the ability to change my peers’ dinners.

Not everyone knew it was me who made the menu change happen, and I’m okay with that. The small changes you make in the world won’t gain you much credit, but they will make a difference in other people’s lives, even if it is just making their dinner that much more enjoyable.