Many college students find themselves juggling classes, homework, clubs, and social activities. Sometimes it can be tough to fit volunteer work into their schedules, but it’s definitely worth the effort. Research shows that volunteering has several mental health benefits for students. These include reducing stress, improving interpersonal skills, and increasing self-confidence.
1. You’ll Learn Real-World Skills
Volunteering is an excellent way for college students to hone their skills and learn more about their career goals. For example, if you are considering a career in health care, volunteering at a hospital or clinic can help you determine if it is a good fit for you and what your career goals may be.
Another important benefit of volunteering for college students is that it can help you build confidence and improve your resume. Employers want to see relevant work experience on their applicants’ resumes, even if it’s unpaid.
You’ll also be able to develop leadership, time management, and problem-solving skills that can be useful in any career you choose. These skills will give you a competitive edge when it comes to interviews and job searches and can make your resume stand out from the rest.
2. You’ll build confidence.
When you’re a college student, it can be difficult to find time for extracurricular activities. You’re busy juggling your coursework, clubs, social obligations, and work.
You may feel overwhelmed at times and insecure about your abilities, but volunteering can help you overcome these feelings. It also provides a sense of purpose and fulfillment, which can improve your overall mood.
In addition, you’ll have the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life and make new connections. This can be a valuable experience for building your social network and getting advice about your career path or future plans.
In a world where diversity is increasingly essential, volunteering abroad can provide a unique perspective on international issues that you would never have otherwise. It can also encourage you to become more empathetic and mindful of cultural differences.
3. You’ll Gain Job Experience
College volunteering is one of the most important activities a student can do to gain valuable experience, build skills, and make new friends. Volunteering also helps to reduce stress and depression, which are two of the leading causes of mental health issues for university students.
According to a study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation, students who volunteered reported lower levels of depression and stress. This is due to the social interaction and sense of accomplishment that volunteers feel when serving others.
Another benefit of volunteering is the ability to learn about other cultures and perspectives. This can be a helpful skill for college students as they enter the workplace.
By interacting with a variety of people from different backgrounds and perspectives, students can develop communication skills, learn how to work with different groups and understand cultural nuances. This can help them be more empathetic and flexible in their professional lives.
4. You’ll Expand Your Network
College is often an intense time, with students balancing work, school, and social life. Volunteering can be a great way to relieve some of that stress and improve your physical health, too.
You’ll also expand your network by working with people from a variety of backgrounds and fields. If you’re interested in education, for example, volunteering at a tutoring program can help you make connections that could be helpful to you in your future career.
Those contacts could come in handy when applying for paid positions post-graduation, too. Having that extra experience could also give you an edge when it comes to job hunting and interviewing.
Volunteering can be a low-risk way to find out whether a particular career is right for you, and it’s often a good idea to build a network of people who can support your interests long after graduation. It can also provide a different perspective on how to manage your time, brainstorm ideas, and solve problems.