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5 Benefits of Volunteering in College

Volunteering is often a requirement for many schools, but there are many more benefits besides fulfilling any credit hours needed to graduate! With volunteering, you use your heart to make a difference in others’ lives. Here are five reasons why you should volunteer in college: 

It benefits you as much as it benefits those you’re helping.

Obviously, you are helping something, someone, or some cause when you volunteer, but did you know that you’re also helping yourself? Volunteering makes you feel good. Through helping others who may not have the advantages in life that you do, it makes you feel like you have a purpose. Knowing that you’re taking a little bit of time out of your day to make a difference in someone else’s is satisfying and makes your heart happy, as well as those you’re helping.

You can use your experience to help others.

It is no secret that the process of applying and being accepted to college is complex. As students who are lucky enough to be attending college, we have the opportunity to help those who may not have the support we’ve had to get to where we are. Through tutoring high-school students, advising them on their college essays and applications, we can help make college a real possibility for so many. You can also find organizations through which you can sponsor students’ college application fees or even get involved to advocate for your college to offer application ‘scholarships’ to applicants in need.

It provides you with once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

Signing up for any volunteer work puts you in an unfamiliar situation where there is so much potential for knowledge growth. You’re learning more about people and causes just by being there firsthand! Seeing what different communities (or even different species of animals) go through opens your eyes and gives you new perspectives. You most likely will gain a newfound appreciation for what you have. You’ll learn so much from the people you volunteer with as well as those you’re helping.

It’s a great break from studying.

Sometimes, you become so involved in academic work, and that’s all you seem to do anymore. Volunteering gives you a break from studying while still being productive! It allows you to relax and even de-stress while performing important tasks. Many jobs are simple and don’t require much brainpower, such as sorting clothes in a donation center. You can also find opportunities that are more involved and social, like volunteering at an animal shelter, where you can play with cute animals and help them find forever homes. 

It looks good on applications.

Volunteering is a true two-for-one, not only can you do this out of the goodness of your heart, but it can also really benefit your resume and applications. Whether you’re applying to a graduate school, a club’s executive board, student government, or a job, volunteering shows that you work because you truly want to help the world and its inhabitants. It confirms that you genuinely care and work hard even when there’s no monetary reward.

Luckily for us college students, there are always an incredible amount of service opportunities, on-campus as well as off-campus! You can usually find volunteer opportunities posted on flyers or sent in emails, and many clubs hold their own volunteering events, too. As a freshman, I’ve already participated in three volunteer days just in my first semester! From packaging holiday gifts for local foster children to cleaning and walking animals at the humane society and preparing meal kits for children in other countries, I have already made so many new friends and learned so much just from these opportunities. I recommend volunteering not only as a way to make yourself and others happier but also as a way to learn more about your community and make new friends.

Volunteering is often a requirement for many schools, but there are so many more benefits besides just getting credit hours in order to graduate! Volunteering is something that can help in many aspects of life as well as many different types of lives. Schools and work may require it, but it is also asked for your heart to make a difference.

  1. It benefits you as much as it benefits those you’re helping: Obviously, you are helping something, someone, or some cause when you volunteer, but did you know that you’re also helping yourself? Volunteering makes you feel good; you’re helping others who don’t have the advantages in life that you’ve been given, and it makes you feel like you have a purpose. Knowing that you’re taking a little bit of time out of your day to make a huge difference in someone else’s is satisfying and makes your heart happy, as well as those you’re helping.
  2. It’s the right thing to do: It is no secret that college tuition is expensive. That being said, as students who are lucky enough to attend and afford a good college, we should give back to those who do not or did not have the same opportunity. We should help others as much as we can, not just leave them where they are! Not only should you give to others, but you should do it out of the kindness of your heart and not for money. That’s what volunteering is all about!
  3. Provides you with life experiences: Regardless of what type of volunteering you do, you’re putting yourself in a situation that you are unfamiliar with, but passionate about. You’re learning more about people and causes just by being there firsthand! Seeing what some animals or people go through opens your eyes and gives you some perspective; you begin to better appreciate what you have. The people you volunteer with as well as those you’re helping form incredible connections, and you’ll learn so much from the stories you hear about their lives or other places they’ve volunteered!
  4. It’s an outlet that is different from what you normally do: Sometimes, you become so involved in academic work, and that’s all you seem to do anymore. Volunteering gives you a break while also being productive! Most of the time, volunteering is methodical and soothing, and it gives your brain a rest. Also, if you volunteer at shelters (like the Animal Rights Advocates club on campus), you’re working with cute animals. So, not only are you de-stressing and resting your mind, you are also bringing joy to an animal or person’s life and helping a cause.
  5. It looks good on applications: Yeah, I know I said that volunteering is supposed to be done out of the goodness of your heart and to benefit others, but it also looks really good on applications. Whether you’re applying to a graduate school, a club’s executive board, student government, or a job, volunteering shows that you work because you truly want to help the world and its inhabitants. It shows that you genuinely care and work hard even when there’s no reward.

Luckily for us, Oxford has an incredible amount of service opportunities, on-campus as well as off-campus! They’re typically posted on flyers or sent in emails, and many clubs hold their own volunteering events, so they’re easy to find. As a freshman, I’ve already participated in three volunteer days just in my first semester that was all incredibly different. From packaging holiday gifts for local kids in foster care to cleaning and walking animals at the humane society to preparing meals for children in other countries, I have already made so many new friends and learned so much just from three separate days. I recommend volunteering not only as a way to make yourself as well as others happier, but also as a way to learn more about your community and make friends.

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