Volunteering makes us feel good. It’s a proven fact. We feel good when helping others and contributing to our community in a positive way. There are benefits to volunteer works, however, beyond the warm fuzzy feeling.
While some people get started with volunteering at a young age with bake sales, highway cleanup, youth programs, and more, it’s never too late to jump on this bandwagon. In fact, volunteering can be especially beneficial to college students. In this blog post, we will explore the health, community, and career benefits of volunteering, and what opportunities are available to college students.
Volunteering Steers Health in the Right Direction
Few lead busier, more chaotic lives than college students. With pop quizzes and exams always seeming to be right around the corner, late night study sessions, and let’s not forget about your stacked social schedule, you might find yourself a little…stressed. Stress can lead to a multitude of negative side effects, including weight gain, heart disease, lack of sleep, depression, and other unfavorable conditions.
Thankfully, there’s a simple solution. Volunteering helps counteract the effects of stress, anger, and anxiety––all predecessors of depression. A 2018 study on volunteerism and health discovered that people who regularly volunteered experienced:
- An 8.5% increase in mental health
- A 4.3% decrease in depression
- A 9% increase in physical health
Volunteering is also shown to improve your brain’s functioning, especially in your later years. Why wait? Get started now.
It’s for a Good Cause
Volunteers help make our world a better place. It really isn’t rocket science. When you give your time and talents to do good, you’re contributing to a greater society – and getting a bonus health boost. Volunteering also strengthens your bond with your community and enhances your support network. By volunteering in a group, you’ll connect with people who share common interests
The Competitive Edge for Career-seekers
You may not have considered it before, but while volunteering won’t directly improve your test scores, it could very well give you the competitive edge you’ll need when entering the job market.
The Benefits of Volunteering
You’re no doubt familiar with the saying, “It isn’t what you know, but who you know,” correct? Networking is an important part of landing your dream career. You never know who you’re going to meet when volunteering. And if they happen to be on the hiring team, you’ll have already made an excellent first impression.
Through community service, students gain real-world experience and practice important functions like leadership, time management, and problem solving. Students who volunteer get to practice these skills before having to implement them in practical scenarios, which leads to greater confidence during job interviews and onboarding.
Determining career goals
In line with acquiring real-world experience to broaden your knowledge and build confidence, volunteering enables you to explore diverse career opportunities. Before you lock yourself into a career, try it out first. Through volunteering, you’ll learn how you function as an individual and what really gets you out of bed in the morning. Besides your alarm clock.
It’s a safe bet that volunteering can only help your resumé, not hurt it. In fact, employers are 82% more likely to hire a candidate with volunteering experience than someone without. That’s the competitive edge mentioned earlier.
Volunteer Opportunities at Covey
Volunteerism is simply part of a healthy, well-rounded lifestyle. At Covey, we offer a diverse range of volunteer opportunities that can work with all schedules, whether you’re juggling academics, work, family, or all of the above. Some experience-building opportunities include:
- Virtual Class Participation and Leading. Join our vibrant, virtual world of learning and empowering with our new program, Covey Connects. We’re always on the lookout for enthusiastic volunteers to teach our clients new skills or introduce them to an exciting hobby. Courses we’ve offered so far have featured watercolor painting, fly fishing, music, and many more!
- Photography. Have you got a knack for capturing great photos? We love to share what we’re up to on our social media, blogs, and newsletters. If you enjoy photography, we have endless opportunities for you!
- Community Engagement. Connecting with our community is a critical part of our mission. We can always use an extra set of hands – and minds – to help us find new and exciting opportunities in our community.
- Assist at Respite Houses. Do you enjoy caring for others? How about playing games, reading to clients, and teaching life-enriching skills? Those are all the types of activities that go on at our respite houses, a unique 24/7 care facility we offer to our clients.
- General office support. Experience in providing office support is a great value-add to your resumé. If you like checking off tasks and being part of a team, we’ve got an opportunity for you.
At Covey, we believe in the positive power of volunteering. We are avid volunteers ourselves, donating our time and talents to local establishments. To learn more about Covey volunteer opportunities, visit our website at covey.org.