The first years in college seem to be very intense: extra credits, dance classes, band rehearsals, workouts –your schedule is filled to the brim. “Lack of time” is the most common reason students why they don’t volunteer. Some students just don’t see the point to do extra work for free. Yet, volunteering has to do a lot with your academic and professional success. There are at least six definite ways of how volunteering can benefit your student life.
Working as a volunteer makes you a multitasked fixer. You learn how to deal with the wide range of problems under the supervision of more experienced people and in a team of enthusiasts. Now to organize an event for 200 hundred people in 3 days sounds like something unmanageable to you. After 2 months of volunteering in some cultural or educational project, it will be a piece of cake. It affects your study as well, allowing you to reevaluate your academic tasks. Preparing of an essay will not look as a problem to you anymore, but simply as another thing to do.
Volunteering teaches you how to find time for everything. Having a lot of small tasks to do, you learn how to estimate the needed time for each of them. It fills your schedule with out-of-campus activities that help you prioritize your academic tasks as well. Besides, there are studies proving that giving time brings us more time. Volunteering will help you beat procrastination.
Nine times out of ten volunteering presupposes teamwork. It helps to find out how to communicate effectively with people with whom you share an assignment. You learn how to allot the small tasks between team members and coordinate your work. Besides, it teaches you to listen to your teammates and compromise, finding the best solution for all of you. With such experience, an academic task to prepare a group project will be an adventure for you.
Volunteer work helps you to reach an understanding with people, regardless of their cultural or social background. It develops your empathy to others and gives you a sense of the reality of those, who are less fortunate than you. Thus, you learn to accept people with the full baggage of their past.
Volunteering allows you to come out of the university bubble and to diversify your social circle. Surprisingly, this experience allows you to build more trusting and kindly relationships with people around you, including your classmates in college.
Volunteering work is about making difference. You can trace the results of your contribution and see how it makes someone’s life easier, cleaner, warmer or fuller. Yet with great power comes great responsibility. In this case, it means you cannot do your job in a half-way. When all you do is studying, the only person, depending on your diligence is you. Volunteering shows you how it is to be responsible for others. This kind of engagement has an influence on your efficiency, including your study attitude.
You can follow Sheldon’s path and concentrate solely on your study. Yet, according to the research, students who volunteer are 19% more likely to graduate from college than their non-volunteering colleagues.
Ultimately, volunteering gives you a feeling of social involvement and helps you find your identity. Volunteer work on a local level allows you to deepen your relations with active members of your community, neighbors, and peers. It helps you feel engaged and useful. It reduces depressive thoughts and feelings of frustration. When you benefit other people, you get a sense of accomplishment and that makes you more self-confident. Thus, you become healthier and happier, and that reflects on any sphere of your activity.
Volunteering gives you a real work experience and a sense of responsibility for something bigger than your own routine. Doing some work apart from the study or having fun allows you to get acquainted with different spheres of employment. Thus, you get a fuller picture of possible career paths. It challenges you and shows what you are capable of.
There are two large groups of volunteering projects: local and international. To gain some volunteering experience you don’t need to go far abroad. On the local level, you can contribute to your community, and even that can surprisingly transform your life (for the best). There are hundreds of volunteering programs, so you can choose the one that fits your interests, skills, and schedule.