All of the opportunities and challenges in college push, prod, and (let’s face it) sometimes shove us to transform into the ideal people that we would like to become. In my personal experience, I’ve found that one of the best ways to grow during these important years is through community service. As Gandhi says perfectly, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Okay, so we all have very busy lives. With work, school, sports, hobbies, and hanging out with friends, why should you take the time to do volunteer work? Well, a surprisingly large amount of rewards can come from helping others. Here are four wonderful benefits of volunteering:
- It reveals your strengths and weaknesses: Because community service often involves a wide variety of interactions with people, it’s easy to spot areas that need improvement. And when you are aware of your strengths and weaknesses, you can know what to focus on to develop your skills. And hey, when you apply for jobs, what employer wouldn’t love to hear of this development of your people skills? Talk about a resumé booster!
- It may alight a new interest or passion: Trying new service activities can expose you to things that you have never tried before, and can therefore be a great way to find what you love to do. Something that you may have never considered doing before or that you are afraid to do could turn out to be so fun or meaningful that you just may want to pursue it for a career!
- It will make you feel good: Who doesn’t love to see someone smile with pure joy and gratitude, and know that you made it happen? Seeing what kind of positive impact you can make on people can give you confidence in your abilities and make you feel purposeful.
- It can change your perspective and inspire you: Seeing the hardships that others face every day can put your own problems into perspective and make you grateful for all that you have.
I believe so much in the power of service and how it can impact your own life that every week I will be sharing my own experiences, as well as putting a spotlight on some important issues and worthwhile opportunities right here at BSU!
Have you ever done community service projects? How did they impact you? What causes are you passionate about? Is there anything that you have considered trying?