Life at uni is crazy! Meeting a swarm of new people, in unfamiliar surroundings and too many parties and essays to count. The last thing on a students mind is volunteering! So many students miss out on reaping the many benefits of volunteering. Not only does it improve your experience on a whole, it can count towards improving a grade and improves employability after uni tenfold.
10 reasons students should volunteer:
Helps You Bond With The Community
Volunteering can form a connection between you and your new home town. It forces you to make memories in a place where you haven’t made any yet. When you first move to your dream college/uni, you can feel like a bit of a foreigner. You don’t know your way around campus or where anything is in town. It is not uncommon for student to struggle with settling into their new town.
Your home town has so many memories and places which are special in your heart. Volunteering gets you out and about in your new town and helps you build a bond off campus.
Offers Loan Forgiveness
Nursing and medical students: You can in effect get your degree for free by volunteering. Depending on the type of loan you have, it is always worth contacting your lender to see what options are available. Sometime even if there is no forgiveness, there may be opportunities to defer your loan, partially cancel or income-driven repayment.
Get Academic Credit
Many colleges and university courses offer academic credit in exchange for hours spent volunteering. Volunteering can even help you reach a higher grade. The hours you volunteer are marked on your transcript and will be part of your academic record. Speak to your school and ask about getting your volunteering recognised and earn you extra credit.
No two days are the same when volunteering, everything you do is completely different. You are always learning and developing new skills, enhancing your problem-solving skills which you learnt as a baby, improving your ability to work well in a team and possibly even taking more of a leadership role and developing these skills. All transferable skills can be applied in any future career, they’ll also help you survive!
Explore Career Options
Volunteering allows you to try out different areas of work before you dive into your professional career. You can try your hand at different types of job roles: admin, customer service, leadership and care. As well as volunteering in different industries, before committing to your future career, you can see where you enjoy working first.
The feeling of obtaining a degree and asking yourself “What next?” not knowing what you want to do or what career path you want to go down. Some post graduates can feel lost and scared joining the real world. The experience you gain from volunteering can help give you guidance in what style of jobs you are most likely to enjoy in the future.
Employers are always looking for unique and individual job applicants. They are increasingly finding that applications all basically look so similar it makes choosing between them near impossible and job markets even more competitive.
Employers are looking for well-rounded individuals who aren’t just focused on providing good grades. If you want to stand out against the thousands applying for the same job, volunteering at uni can give your CV the boost it needs.
Any type of volunteering, from building schools to handing out leaflets gives you real life experience. There is only so much that you can learn from books before you have to experience it and learn first-hand. Volunteering not only provides you with experience it takes dedication, through giving up your own personal time to help others, this shows recruiters the commitment you are prepared to bring to their company.
Get to See The World
There are literally thousands of volunteer sending organisations which provide well-structured projects all around the globe. Allowing you to help others in another country, whilst travelling and soaking up a different culture. This will give you more life experience and show your culturally sensitive.
Combine volunteering and helping others with the amazing opportunity to learn another language, submerging yourself in the country’s history and culture. Volunteering is an affordable way of travelling and many low-cost organisations have been set up to help college students volunteer overseas on their budget.
Makes You A Better Person
Thousands of clichés surround the idea of volunteering and ‘putting something back into the world’, however they aren’t untrue. Volunteering helps charities and people who need extra assistance and another pair of hands, whether you are helping feed the homeless at a soup kitchen, reading to sick children in a hospital or offering unused clothes to a clothes bank, you can help improve a community, making yourself a better person as part of the process.
Meet New People
Volunteering attracts a diverse pool of people, all choosing to volunteer for different reasons. From fellow volunteers to the people you are helping, they all come from different walks of lives and you don’t know if your paths may not have crossed had you not volunteered. The people you meet will have different knowledge you can learn and different outlooks on life you can appreciate.
It’s hard to work and spend a lot of time with people without forming some deep and lasting friendships. The experiences you share together are the first building blocks of friendships.
Changes the Way You See The World
Seeing poverty and how other parts of society live, the struggles they go through each day can change the way that you see your part of the world. Helping those who maybe don’t have as much as you or aren’t as privileged helps put into perspective your issues. Your roommate forgetting to take the bins out for the second day in a row, doesn’t seem so much of a big deal.