Gabriella Pinos/Staff Writer
College is a turning point for young adults, and a time when students begin to figure out who they are. The transition to adulthood is a great balancing act of work, school and a social life—it’s never been easy to accomplish.
But placing our own interests to the side through volunteering can make the coming-of-age process a lot smoother. Not only does it improve our communities, it can help us find fulfillment in our college years.
In an era where depression and anxiety are at an all-time high among young adults, volunteering has been shown to improve psychological well-being, according to HelpGuide.
Socializing and working with others relieves stress, increases self-confidence, releases hormones that deliver pleasure, and provides a sense of purpose.
The social aspect of volunteering is just as important.
Joining a club that promotes community service allows students to develop their social skills and connect with those who share similar interests.
In our personal lives, helping others can provide us with happiness. Even if it’s something small, like holding the door for someone, the act makes us feel a sense of accomplishment.
A study done by the London School of Economics shows that, in American adults, the more people volunteered, the happier they were. The odds of them experiencing happiness increased by 7% among those who volunteered monthly and 12% among those who volunteered every two weeks.
Volunteering even looks great on your resume.
73% of employers are more likely to hire a candidate with volunteer experience than someone who has none, according to TimeBank. Not only will it make you look well-rounded to employers, it’ll give you valuable career and life experiences.
But more than anything, the pride, satisfaction and accomplishment we get from helping others are reasons alone to serve.
When I was in high school, I participated in Key Club, an organization centered around community service and volunteerism. Attending walks, food drives and park clean-ups helped with college applications. They also allowed me to make new friends and build my character.
It’s the rush you feel when you put your own issues aside for a couple of hours a day that has given me the most clarity on my future.
Having that perspective is important when you’re about to enter the real world. In a time when students are bombarded with a million opinions from their parents, peers and social media, volunteering is an escape from all the white noise.
I’ll agree that making the commitment to serve is the hardest part. Waking up early in the morning to clean up a park doesn’t sound like the ideal way to start a weekend.
But sacrificing my time and energy for a greater cause became less of a chore when I saw the difference it made. The satisfaction I felt when I was selfless made up for my lack of sleep.
The more we give, the happier we’ll be, and that feeling of fulfillment is something most college students are lacking nowadays.
So, if you ever feel in a rut, lend a helping hand. Regardless of the amount of people you will be helping, it will make you see the world through a completely different perspective.
The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of Panther Press Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.