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5 Reasons Why You Should Volunteer

04/25/2011 10:56 am ET | Updated Jun 25, 2011
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by Dionna Mash
CSU Chico

Convinced between your classes, homework, and social life there isn't possibly enough time to volunteer? Here are 5 reasons that might get you thinking otherwise.

1) Make a Difference

To start with, the most obvious benefit of volunteering is it's an extremely rewarding experience.  It's so easy to get stuck in a routine as a student with class, homework, sleep... repeat...  But it will be worth it to switch things up a bit to make a difference in the community and your personal life.

2) Develop Job Skills

Volunteering might be one of the best ways to gain hands on experience for a future career.  Giving a helping hand to the community will not only result in networking, but can also be a great asset to your resume. Plan on being a teacher? Volunteer in a classroom. Pursuing a career in environmental science? Find a recycling or trail restoration program. This is your chance to gain essential leadership experience that all employers want to see.

3) Explore Other Interests

Sometimes we find ourselves in a monotonous routine and need to balance our life with a variety of activities that can be both relaxing and energizing.  Volunteering is a great way to delve into a unique career path or new hobbies you may never had seen yourself taking. Things like building a home for Habitat for Humanity, spending a few hours a week at a senior home, or volunteering with Big Brother, Big Sister, all could result in new interests or passions you didn't know were there.

4) Meet New Friends

Meeting people in college isn't tough; however meeting good friends in college can be another story. Volunteering brings all walks of life together and no matter your personality, interests, or background, you're bound to connect with another good Samaritan like yourself. There is no telling who you may meet, or what sort of impact they could have on your life, and this brings possibly one of the most exciting aspects to volunteering.

5) Enhance Your Education

Sometimes the most valuable lessons are taught out of the classroom, and going through the motions of class after class, semester after semester, isn't enough to get the most out of your education. Applying hands-on experience is going to be some of the most valuable assets to your degree, so it's important to get involved early to optimize these opportunities.

Extra curricular activities can be just as important to an employer as your GPA. It's important to show that you are able to achieve a good work-life balance because it paints a better picture of the real you.