Many college students have the desire to do good and help their communities, but there’s something blocking them. Maybe it’s a heavy workload, balancing school and a job, lack of time, lack of transportation, lack of resources, or any number of things. Having priorities is a good thing, and you shouldn’t feel bad for focusing on your own success. Academics are important. But what if I told you that volunteering would benefit you more than an extra three hours of studying per week? And that despite the fact that volunteering requires time, it actually makes you feel more productive?
Here are five reasons volunteering benefits you.
1) It makes you feel healthier. Studies show that people who spent time volunteering somewhere have lower rates of depression, better functional ability, and have higher self-confidence than people who don’t volunteer.
2) It can be a huge career asset. Employers want people who will represent them well in the community. Volunteering also shows potential employers that you care about improving the world, and aren’t afraid to take on new challenges. You can even try to find volunteer opportunities in your desired job field - it’s an easy way to gain experience. Additionally, volunteering could help you gain important contacts.
3) It makes you feel more productive. Despite the fact that volunteering is another thing on your to-do list, it makes you feel efficient, which makes you feel less stressed and hurried. This makes you feel more productive.
4) You learn or develop new skills. Next week, I’m volunteering at a in-house donation center, kind of similar to a thrift store. I have no retail experience, but after I volunteer there for a while, I’ll know at least a little bit. Maybe you have no experience with food handling, but if you volunteer at a soup kitchen, you’ll be well on your way!
5) You meet new people and gain valuable experiences. Most people go about their day with a filter on - school, work, friends, etc. Don’t you think it might be time to shake things up? Volunteering is a great way to build connections in your community and experience new things for yourself.