While hectic schedules, classes, jobs, and extracurriculars might make it hard to find time to volunteer, there are plenty of advantages to offering your time, energy, and talents to service work. Here are a few reasons to do good and feel good:
1. Give Back to the Community & Make an Impact
You don’t have to go far to make an impact. There are plenty of volunteer opportunities in your community. Not sure of where to start? Check out the local animal shelters, food pantries, libraries, art museums, retirement homes, and hospitals. Choose a place that interests you, and go for it! There’s always room for helping hands.
2. Gain Valuable Experience
Volunteering helps you build valuable skills that will help you as you prepare for college and your future career. Public speaking, project management, and teamwork are skills you’ll use throughout your life. Volunteering requires passion and positivity, so when you include it on your college applications or resume, you give colleges and potential employers a glimpse into a more personal side of you.
3. Meet New People
Whether you volunteer at an animal shelter or help at a food bank, you’ll find people who share your interests and values—and want to help others too! When you volunteer, you’ll make new friends, network, and expand your support system.
4. Improve Your Health
Researchers have found that helping others brings us great joy. Volunteering gives you a greater sense of meaning and purpose and can even lower your stress and anxiety. You’ll build your self-esteem and develop more self-confidence. It may even improve the mental health of people who suffer from addiction and various mental illnesses.
Before you choose a volunteer position, ask about time commitments, training, and the volunteer team. If one opportunity doesn’t work out, don’t be afraid to explore other options. There are plenty of people and organizations that need your help! Volunteering is a fun and rewarding way to help your community and be part of something bigger than yourself.