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9 Reasons to Do Volunteer Work

Anna Katharina Vollmer

Everybody has that one friend which goes to every lecture, aces every test and still manages to spend their free time helping people in need. This can be you! Here are nine reasons why you should free some extra time to start volunteering.

1. Make a Difference – Yes You Can!

This is probably the most obvious reason to start volunteering. It’s also true! You can actually change somebody’s life, the environment or the path of the cause you’re standing behind of. However, the first step to make a difference is to find an NGO that supports the cause you believe in and take action. Start googling, what your local community has to offer and get in touch. One advice: Don’t be disappointed if your NGO of choice doesn’t have a section in your city. Contact them and ask for help to start your own journey by setting up a new section.  

2. Don’t Be a Couch Potato – Take Responsibility

Every day, you decide which world you want to live in! The hard truth is that waiting around on the couch for somebody to finally do something about a matter that is dear to your heart isn’t getting this matter anywhere. Taking action, however, will make an impact! Even tiny little baby steps will get your cause closer to its goals.

3. Meet People with similar Interests – Get Involved in the Local Community

When joining a group of volunteers, you can be certain that you all have at least one thing in common: Together, you are working for a cause you all believe in. Therefore, becoming a volunteer is a great way to make new friends! These are usually people from all different kinds of backgrounds that fight for the same rights, values and much more. Isn’t that great? If you’re new to a city, it can also be a kick-start to get connected in the local community.

4. Ditch the Classroom and Finally Enter the Real World

Did you ever sit inside of a classroom with the thought “Damn, I wish I could actually start doing something with all these theories”? Entering an NGO or a group of volunteers will not only allow you to test your university skills, you will also gain new skills in a real-world-experience. No university will ever teach you hands-on approaches to finance, marketing, PR and much more, an organisation and every company on this planet (aka future employer) needs. – Volunteering does!

5. Boost Your Health

Yes, you heard correct! Disrupting your stressful and work-loaded daily life as a student by pursuing a voluntary activity can decrease your stress levels, strengthen your immune system and contribute to your life satisfaction in general. Better than multivitamins, right? This is due to the fact that you’re pulling the focus away from your own problems and empathise with somebody else’s. A sense of purpose, increased happiness and boosted confidence levels are also nice little side effects.

6. Kind Students Have Better Lives at Uni

Did you know that showing an occasional act of kindness can make your life at university a whole lot easier? It can actually have positive effects on your brain, relationships, performance and happiness overall. Being a volunteer is all about sharing little acts of kindness to other people, our environment or whatever cause you might believe in. Read all about how to slay your uni life with kindness here

7. A Little Selfishness Is OK!

You don’t have to be an entirely selfless human being to be volunteer-material. Take it as a win-win-situation: You’re making a difference by supporting a good cause whilst your CV gets a booster and you’ll become more competitive on the job market. Future employers will highly value your impact within a community and the skills you gained along the way. It also shows them, that you are committed to your work and willing to go beyond your regular shifts to get the job done, you believe in.

 

8. Travel with a Purpose

We all like to travel – no question! How great would it be to give our travels a new purpose? Volunteers are needed all around the world and by helping a community abroad, you will dive into an unknown culture, learn another language and meet new people. There are many organisations that offer volunteer work abroad and support you on your journey. Just be careful when they ask for a ridiculous amount of fees for their services. After all, you’re working and even though volunteering implies that you’re not getting paid for what you do, you shouldn’t pay extra!

9. It’s Fun!

Let’s look back at the previous points. To put them in a nutshell, when you do voluntary work you make an impact, boost your happiness and confidence, make new friends, better your health and uni performance, or even get to discover foreign countries. Isn’t that fun? Of course, the cause you support needs to be treated with respect and dedication, but if you can collect some unforgettable moments, hang out with your friends and go on adventures along the way, volunteering won’t feel like work anymore.

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