How to Make Volunteering a Great Part of Your College Experience

Chances of employment or future education after college are becoming smaller and smaller, due to the enormous competition of educated people nowadays. This is why distinguishing yourself from your peers is now inevitable. As they say – college life is all about the experiences.

However, students are not fully aware of how important volunteering is for their college experience and their future. According to the report from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the volunteer rate declined from a point of 0.4% to one of 24.9% for the year of 2015. This means that about 62 million people have volunteered at least once in the period of September 2014 – September 2015.

Volunteering is certainly a great way to make a real contribution to something you love or feel strongly about. Some students opt for a cause of charity, while others may have something else in mind. This all depends on the individual.
When picking out the thing you feel most strongly about, you have many things to consider. You may want to volunteer in a homeless shelter, retirement home or work with children, sick patients suffering from heart diseases, strokes, cancers; with animals or to save the environment. There are plenty of choices.

In the process of deciding on which volunteering option is best for you, you should also consider mission statements of the charities you are looking into. The aim here is to look for a match for you and see what you can do to help them. A recent Do Something survey has revealed that it is always best to commit to one cause over a longer period of time rather than on many different ones. This survey was used on 32 admission officers of the top universities, out of which 70% claimed that they prefer students that commit to one cause only. “Taking the lead to bring about change in a community will help set a student apart from his or her peers, but communicating depth in that experience is also a determining factor for admissions’ officers.” – stated the author of the survey.

Aside from the known advantages of volunteering, such as distinguishing oneself from the peers and helping others, a growing body of research has shown that volunteering can even provide individual health benefits to the student. The American’s Changing Lives survey reported that the people who volunteered in 1986 actually reported higher self-esteem, life-satisfaction and happiness. Additionally, these people were connected with better physical health and lower depression levels.

Volunteering can become a useful experience in the sense of making student’s life brighter and fuller. Contributing to an important cause helps college students uncover new amazing experiences, meet new people, discover their abilities, improve their abilities and boost the future employment prospects. At the end, volunteering is not something you should do for your progress only, but in order to make some changes in the world. Having the opportunity to enjoy this at the same time is simply a wonderful advantage.

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