Volunteering requires ‘make it matter’ mindset

November 21, 2016 — by Sanjana Melkote

Many students approach volunteering for class requirements as a heavy burden only to be lifted after at least six hours of hard labor on precious weekends that could be spent in better ways. But volunteering requirements were created in an attempt to teach students the value of giving back. To make it more worthwhile, students should try to change their mindset, while the classes should become more creative in their approaches to volunteering chances.

 

Many students approach volunteering for class requirements as a heavy burden only to be lifted after at least six hours of hard labor on precious weekends that could be spent in better ways.

But volunteering requirements were created in an attempt to teach students the value of giving back. To make it more worthwhile, students should try to change their mindset, while the classes should become more creative in their approaches to volunteering chances.

For one thing, students should be paired up with events or organizations based on their interests and skills. This way, hours of service will become more enjoyable.  

Emails sent to the student body let students know about  community  volunteering opportunities, but the staff should  do more to help students find volunteer work that are more personalized and meaningful.

Teachers could tell students about specific volunteer opportunities, or even host volunteering trips, that relate to the classes, to initiate interest in the class’s subject and related volunteer work.

There are only a few large volunteering outings, such as the weeklong Costa Rica trip, where students studied and gathered data about turtles to help research, was initiated by students. Though trips like this are expensive, the school could sponsor more local volunteering events to encourage participation.

Outside of school, many junior sports leagues offer referee positions for high school athletes, and on the other hand, students can also help tutor underprivileged children in nearby communities.

The new tutoring center at the library also provides an on campus opportunity for students interested to help their peers with schoolwork.

Opportunities for students to assist at hospitals, libraries and other professional environments are there to help them gain perspective for the world in these fields, which will benefit them while the hours go by.

Volunteering can help students fuel their passion for an activity, and the hours for the school grade comes as a bonus at that point. Additionally, joining a volunteer club around school will allow students to network with peers.

Even if students volunteer as a one-time obligation, they can easily find something that they have interest in.

Charity events and fundraisers are also a perfect place to lend a helping hand, and these events can still be tailored to individual passions.

Deciding what’s important to us and contributing to these causes can help us as students feel like we are doing something to demand change in the world. From volunteering to tutoring the  underprivileged to assembling care packages for those in need, these six hours of our time can help others tremendously.

Whether it be for the benefit of our interests, or others’ lives there is no “most effective” way to complete volunteering hours. But, to allow the best experience for each person individually, students need to stop treating it as a onerous item on their to-do lists and instead embrace it as something that can add value to their lives.

 
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