Summer’s fiiiinally here! Sure, there must be tons of new shows to catch up on and endless summer gala that you’ve been planning since forever with your barkada, but there’s one more thing you probably might want to try– volunteering!
Shaking your head already? Here are five reasons that might change your mind about this activity that more and more millennials are getting into:
- You get to solve real problems
In the classroom, most of the problem-solving happens on paper, but volunteering gives you hands-on experience and insight on the process of making a difference in someone’s life. Volunteering at feeding programs or donation drives isn’t just about packing goods or handing them out to strangers, but it’s giving the people in need one less thing to worry about (whether it’s a meal they couldn’t afford or a set of clean clothes to wear the next day). No grades or surprise quizzes involved; the high score you can expect is the smile of gratitude from the people who will appreciate your time and effort.
2. You gain better exposure to your surroundings
Volunteering can really open one’s eyes to what’s going on in the communities that are usually overlooked on regular days. Since it’s so easy to get caught up in the daily grind, you might want to take the time to pause and ask how those around you can be helped, even in little ways. Are there programs where you can offer to teach out-of-school youth? Or maybe there are clean-up initiatives for a polluted river being organized nearby. This could even be the perfect opportunity to get to know your local barangay officials better and ask how else you can be of service when you have free time again.
3. You can make new friends
One of the best ways to learn and grow beyond your comfort zone is by interacting with people of different ages, beliefs, and backgrounds. Volunteering provides that unique opportunity to meet new people who not only live and see things differently than you, but who also help you realize how you can make the most of the advantages you have in life (your education, skills, resources, etc.). It can feel awkward at first, especially if you decided to volunteer without your squad tagging along, but there will always be opportunities to strike a meaningful conversation and learn something new.
4. It counts as additional experience
You might not appreciate it yet, but adding any volunteering experience to your resume can actually give off a really good impression to those who read it. The fact that you can take the time to help others and add it to your list of priorities speaks volumes about your character and how willing you are to work with others for a greater cause.
5. It’s good for your mental health
Believe it or not, there are studies which reveal that volunteering can actually be good for your health and reduce stress levels significantly. Through volunteering, overwhelming feelings of helplessness and loneliness are often replaced with a sense of purpose, confidence and excitement for things ahead.