It’s always surprising how many students simply don’t get involved with their union or their university, simply because they won’t get paid to do something. If you’re thinking, ‘What’s in it for me?’, then you’re in the right place. Money isn’t the only reason you should be getting out there, so here are some reasons why you should get into volunteering while you’re studying:
1) To enrich your degree
University is by no means just academia, especially if you have few contact hours. So, if you have more time in the week to work on your degree, socialise, or to get involved with societies, then why not volunteer? Many societies have plenty of such opportunities on offer - it’s definitely one of the best ways to get the most out of your university experience.
2) To gain invaluable work experience
Employers love to see volunteering on your resume and it doesn’t have to be a chore. A lot of volunteering opportunities that are there for you as a student allow you to develop the skills you need for a job out in the ‘real world’ without having to get grilled in an interview first.
3) It makes you feel good
Volunteering is often enormously valuable for the local community and, of course, the university. So, by doing so, you are helping without asking for anything in return - if there is such a thing as altruism. Despite the other benefits listed, the people you are helping will be hugely grateful. You are lifting the burden of others and, ultimately, proving that you care.
4) It’s a powerful networking tool
Through volunteering, you are taking a step forward and opening yourself up to people who are on the lookout for candidates for jobs or other opportunities. You’ll meet people who can help you in the future and, chances are, they’ll be willing since you’ve taken the time to volunteer. Other volunteers will, no doubt, also be successful in the future and may be able to give you a hand. Contacts are useful - you never know when you might need them.
5) It give you sense of purpose
Often, students can feel a bit ‘lost’ at university which isn’t good for your mental health. Therefore, volunteering fills your time and gives you a sense of purpose. Not only will you enjoy your time and make lots of friends, but you’ll be giving something and feel all warm and fuzzy inside because of it.
6) You’re making a difference
Too many students complain about their union or university without doing anything about it. By volunteering, your are making the decisions and doing what you can in order to improve the environment around you. If you think you can do better, why not give it a go?
7) To find opportunities you never knew existed
By putting yourself out there and grabbing one opportunity, your open yourself up to so much more. As a volunteer, you gain the skills that entitle you to do more. You may even become so skilled at what you volunteer for, that someone might be willing to pay you to do it; you might even get opportunities to travel, apply to jobs you couldn’t before, and meet some amazing people along the way. The possibilities are endless.