By: Guest On: July 16, 2012 In: Campus Correspondents, Student Life, Volunteering Comments: 0

Today’s post is by campus correspondent Karyn H., a student at SUNY-Old Westbury. Find out how you can become a campus correspondent, too!

“It is not how much you do, but how much love you put in the doing.” –Mother Theresa

Why should you seek out community service or volunteer opportunities in addition to your high school or college coursework?

The concept of service is that it should be performed primarily for altruistic reasons. Pursuing community service or volunteer opportunities throughout your educational career demonstrates the type of person that you are.

Many students can excel in their academic coursework; however, to an admissions committee, potential employer or any person in general, if you have demonstrated that you are able to perform well in school with the added obligation of a service commitment, you have already indicated something about yourself.

Whether it is excellent interpersonal skills, keen organizational skills, a knack for time management, or all of the above, you have already shown a committee or employer that you acknowledge the importance of giving back and embody community in your own personal mission, whatever that may be. Furthermore, by performing service you provide some insight into what you may accomplish in the future.

Explore Your Interests Through Community Service

In addition to seeking out community service or volunteer opportunities, try to find your passion while completing service. Awe individuals with the length of time you have dedicated to a particular cause rather than performing several short service projects. Short service projects that also address a similar cause such as human rights or education are also acceptable.

As teenagers and young adults we are constantly reinventing ourselves and exploring new interests. Community service and volunteer opportunities allow you to gain exposure to certain professions to see if they fit your personality. It is better to discover that you are not interested in a particular career path earlier rather than upon completion of your studies in that field. Volunteering also makes you more competitive when seeking future employment.

Individuals who have completed service have greater feelings of self-worth and accomplishment. It is so personally fulfilling to know that you have potentially impacted someone’s life by simply offering your assistance.  Also, by completing service, you meet a network of people who have similar interests as you.

Although many students are busy with other obligations such as working part-time, extracurricular activities or other commitments, in these trying times it is important that as a society we revert back to the importance of service and lending a helping hand to our fellow citizen.

Karyn H. is a biological sciences and Spanish double major at SUNY-Old Westbury. When she is not studying she enjoys reading, writing and completing community service.

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