In high school, you might be expected to do some volunteer work, whether it be for your college application, a social studies class, or an after-school organization. It’s perfectly understandable if you’re not exactly looking forward to these hours: you’re very busy, and working without getting paid doesn’t sound very fun. You may, however, be surprised at how you will benefit from doing volunteer work!
Meeting New People: In high school, you’ve likely been around the same people your whole life. Everyone at school knows as a certain way. There’s someone who still brings up the time you ate glue in second grade. You’re known to be a part of a particular crowd. It can be incredibly hard to break away from how everyone at school has always seen you. When you do volunteer work, you’ll be meeting lots of people from other schools who have no idea who you are except what you give them. This is a chance to make new friendships and relationships based on something other than the last fifteen years. In addition, meeting new people will become important in college, so you may as well practice through volunteer work!
Learning About Important Issues: As a volunteer, you’ll likely be made aware of the many issues and problems that your community may have. By working in a soup kitchen, you may for the first time discover the amount of homeless people living in your area. By volunteering at your public library, you may realize how little money the library has as well as where your community’s literacy rate stands. By volunteering with an environmental cleanup group, you may learn about what is causing pollution in your area. When you take the time to volunteer in your community, you’re taking a step outside of your school’s walls and getting a look at everything that impacts your community as a whole.
A Glimpse Into Your Future: As you spend time volunteering, you’ll begin to learn things about yourself that will help you choose your college major, and someday, your career. You could spend a week cashing people out at a thrift store, and the following week cleaning up an animal shelter, and realize you really prefer working in solitude. A few weekends at the hospital may reveal that while you’re completely into Grey’s Anatomy, seeing actual body fluids completely freaks you out, eliminating a chunk of your possible career paths. Consider what you like and what you don’t, and allow that information to influence your college decisions later.
Doing Some Good: Many people continue to volunteer through their adult lives because they love doing something good for society, and being able to see that good firsthand. While it’s great to send a check to an animal shelter, it feels completely different to be the one who cares for the animals there. By doing volunteer work, you get the chance to see the results up close, and that can be the best, most rewarding feeling in the world!