Volunteering

Posted by in Life in College

So you made it to college! You are finally finished volunteering with service groups and building your list of club memberships to make your college application shine. Now that you’ve been accepted at a university, why would you bother to keep volunteering for stuff? Well contrary to what a lot of incoming college students believe, continuing to build your repertoire of service groups, clubs, and other organizations in college is still important. It actually matters a lot! Volunteering can be key in developing your personal growth, as well as help prepare you for life in general. In high school the goal is graduating and getting into college, but in college the goal is graduating and getting a job. Therefore, why would you not stay involved and get connected through volunteering?

We all know that volunteering means giving up our time and effort for free. And for some people the idea of sacrificing a few hours here and there is a tough concept to grasp.  Others thrive off the experience. Regardless of how you feel, volunteering is an important part of life, so get used to it. Many organizations would not be possible without volunteers, particularly nonprofit organizations. Nonprofits like The Salvation Army, Samaritan’s Purse, American Red Cross, Livestrong, and many others would not be able to function without the help of their volunteers. Nonprofit organizations typically need volunteers because, like their title suggests, they do not make a profit off of their business and often count on the help of volunteers and charitable donations to reach their yearly goals.

Throughout most college campuses getting involved with volunteer organizations is simple. Whether you hear about an opportunity through a poster, signup sheet, friend, professor, other organizations, or class, opportunities are everywhere. A great way to start is to get involved with an organization that you are passionate about. When a person is passionate about something there is a greater willingness to fully participate and get enjoyment out of the experience. Often the best kinds groups to get involved with could be those that align with your major or the field in which you hope to work. By volunteering in the same area as your intended career path, you are not only giving yourself more knowledge and insight in that field, but you are also gaining valuable experience and connections.  You never know, these opportunities could actually help you climb to higher job positions more quickly than if you entered a company or business with little to no experience. Many campuses have offices designed specifically to help students to find volunteer opportunities that fit their interests and fields of study. The key to all of this is being proactive and motivated enough to find which one is best for you!

After you have found your ideal volunteer organization, I can promise that you will walk away having received far more than you put in. The benefits of volunteering are countless. As someone who has participated in many different types of volunteer services, I can honestly say that it is an extremely rewarding and meaningful experience. Volunteering is a phenomenal way to open our eyes and broaden our worldviews to things outside of our everyday lives. Some volunteer jobs can be very physically, mentally, or emotionally challenging.  At the end of the day, however, it is always worth it if you are doing something you feel passionate toward. Even with the busyness of a college student’s life, it is so important to leave room to give back to the community and take an active role in making a difference in the world.