By Natalie Fiszer As a college student, boredom is seldom a problem. With classes, jobs, friends, and extracurricular activities from club soccer to acapella groups, you're barely left with any time to answer phone calls from your parents. Why add being a volunteer to the mix?
Because it's easy, enjoyable, and it can benefit you as much as you will be benefitting others. Most academic institutions provide excellent resources to connect you with organizations that need volunteers, with opportunities from tutoring in schools to preparing meals at an organization like Thrive DC, and even alternative break trips that send volunteers all over the United States and the world. Service-learning classes make it even more straightforward by connecting your class curriculum with volunteer opportunities that help to increase your understanding of a subject.
Not convinced yet? Here are the top ten reasons why service learning and collegiate volunteerism are awesome.
Not only does volunteer experience look great on your resume, but it also allows you to explore and try out different possible careers. It can provide you with great work experience and allow you to develop professional skills without committing to a 9 to 5 desk job.
Volunteer opportunities are everywhere. They can be found on campus one day a week, or an hour away three times a week, depending entirely on your availability. All that matters is that you make the commitment.
Service learning opportunities give you a vehicle to follow up on a class you loved, by continuing your service commitment. Volunteering on a regular basis, even if it is one hour a week, makes your impact even greater and builds great relationships with your community.
Not only do you get that great, do-good feeling, but volunteering also boosts self-confidence and self-esteem, once you complete your goals and can see the results of your hard work.
Understand the topics you're studying in class and the social issues of today in a way you would never be able to from a textbook.
Studies show that volunteering, at all ages; helps you overcome stress, makes you happier, gives you an opportunity to be physically active, and makes you live longer. Who needs de-stressing more than a college student?
Think you need to go to Thailand to experience adventure? Not necessarily, just step out of your comfort zone in your local community and escape your daily routine by volunteering somewhere new, it’s a great chance to try something different, and you might just find your passion.
I'll list a few good ones: interpersonal skills, problem solving, patience, and flexibility. And who knows, maybe even cooking!
Volunteering gives you the opportunity to meet so many diverse people. You might meet fellow volunteers that will become great friends, people in your community with incredible stories and lessons, or staff at organizations that can be great career contacts. Learn from all of them.
It's amazing to think that a few hours of your time can have an impact that someone will feel for years.