Last Updated on June 23, 2020 by Chrisantus Oden
Why University Students Should Volunteer
Volunteering has to do with putting your time, energy and effort into an unpaid activity probably to help a non-profit organisation, a community or an individual that you’re not related to. Volunteering can range from community work, helping homeless people, working in an organisation for free or raising funds for well-meaning campaigns or projects. As a university or college student, engaging in this can very well serve to help you impact your immediate community positively and will also benefit you in a good number of ways. Here are top reasons for you to consider volunteering as a student one of these days.
1. Giving Back to the Community
In many ways you’ve been impacted by your environment, the country, state and town you live in. There are values, resources, experiences and opportunities that you have absorbed from them. It’s a noble thing to do to give back to your community even in the smallest, unnoticeable way you can. Observe needs around and see which of the needs you are more passionate about meeting, then find a group or organisation where you can volunteer and meet this need. The community gets better because of you.
2. Developing New Skills
Volunteering is a major opportunity you can easily harness to gain new skills. In the course of carrying out your activities, there are different skills that will come handy which you will be forced to learn somehow because it is required, a skill that probably you wouldn’t have developed on your own, or learnt within the four walls of the classroom. These skills you acquire cannot be lost after the volunteering contract, they remain with you and you can use them anywhere as situations rise. You can also go on to monetise these skills later on.
3. Gaining community awareness
Most students, because of the bustle of Campus life, are just boxed within the circumference of their schools, no adequate awareness about the immediate community. Going out into communities on volunteer activities will bring you exposure and better awareness. You get more familiar with the lifestyle outside campus and the realities starring people in the face. You are better informed to engage to critically think about things happening around you. Social issues, political climates, cultures, customs and economic tides are closer to your eye and mind than before. Your consciousness is practically raised, and you are better equipped to plan ahead in any venture you choose.
4. Meeting New People
When you engage in local charity, community projects or campaigns, you get to meet new people. Both the low and the high in the community, politicians, royals and the likes. These connections can be instrumental in advancing you in your career or bring your way opportunities you weren’t even expecting.
5. Employers are Looking for People with Volunteer Experience
When applying for jobs, many companies have at their core social responsibilities, so your volunteer experience could give you an edge above others and can serve to compensate for some other deficiencies in your curriculum vitae. Employers have preference for applicants who have had relevant experiences in their line of work, so be sure to take volunteering seriously. In your resume, be sure to include your volunteer experience and list your functions and achievements during the programme. This will go a long way to show employers of what stuff you are made.
6. Improves Your Interpersonal and Leadership Skills
Volunteering will likely mean that you work in a group and you will have to be active enough. It will in a way compel you to relate with others even if you are not used to it and will largely improve your relationship abilities. Also, leadership skills can be well learnt and groomed through volunteering services. At one point or the other during the project or volunteering activity you can happen to be the situational leader, which you’ll have to shoulder with leadership skills.
7. Reveals Your Strength and Weakness
It’s possible you’re still trying to figure out what your strengths are and your weaknesses. You may not get to know them early enough and easily, especially if they are not obvious skills, except you push yourself into certain situations like volunteering where you are made to involve in a number of activities, during which your self-discovery is enhanced and you can begin to concentrate more on your strengths for success and work on your weaknesses.
8. A Big Boost to Your Self Confidence
Doing something noble as volunteering and giving back to your community or communities around you will make you a more confident and fulfilled person. You have that air of relevance and meaning around you because you are connected to a course that’s helping and probably saving lives too. It makes your friends and people around you see you as a responsible and motivated person, you make you earn more of their respect.
9. Improves Your Project Management Skill
Volunteering might require you to work on a project, which you’ll have to probably do in a group combining efforts together. Especially if you get yourself actively involved in planning processes and execution of those plans, you will learn ways and methods of approach to managing projects and making things happen. Also, your team spirit is built, so you can better fit into systems to lead or follow others as the case may be, but your ideas will be informed and practical.
10. Can Boost Your Grades or Academic Performance
If as a student you take up a volunteering opportunity or job in your area of study and specialty, you get exposed to the practicality of the theories you learn in class and you are able to draw some links and connections to what you study. This can help you have good grasp of concepts and perform better.
11. Hitting on Your Passion
When you lose yourself in the service of others, you’ll find yourself. You may stumble on your intrinsic passion while volunteering. It may just be the avenue to find that thing that makes you click, and from there you can kick start pursuing your passion.
12. Powerful Networks can be Built
While volunteering, you get to meet like-minded people, probably in your group, and powerful connections can be formed which may translate into bigger things.
13. Character Development
Working with others, helping people, meeting new people with different approaches to life and backgrounds, all these go on to make you a better you, especially if you take the experience as an opportunity to grow. Also, your empathy and sympathy will be more aroused, as you see people in different situations, especially the less privileged ones.
14. A Break for Balance
Taking up a volunteer job or activity can simply serve to give you a break from the day to day routine of school and campus life. You’re not endlessly boxed into your own world. You get a chance to somehow cool off the heat and do something else other than attending classes, taking notes and walking back to the hostel every day.
You can begin to think of a place you can volunteer to offer your services for free, and apart from all the benefits, to do something worthwhile for others with a heart of nobility and responsibility.