Volunteerism is a practice that should be carried out by everyone at least once in their life. Not only does it give a great sense of gratitude and perspective about your own privilege, but it also genuinely makes the world a better place. Both the givers and the recipients of volunteerism benefit in numerous ways. People who choose to spend their time and/or money to help others gain a self of self-worth and an increase in self-esteem. It also lowers their stress levels when they feel they are part of the solution to a problem that they are passionate about, as opposed to just worrying about all the what-ifs. Lowered stress leads to a healthier life, as well, since there are many physical ailments that are directly connected to stress.

Starting early is a great way to make volunteering a part of your life. Parents who volunteer and incorporate the whole family unit pass along great values to their children, who will hopefully carry the torch throughout their lives. College is a wonderful opportunity to learn about which issues matter to you personally. It is not only a time of discovery about other cultures but also a time when students are experiencing independence from their home life for the first time. It’s the first real step in discovering your own identity, and college campuses use this platform to exhibit all of the possibilities.

It is also a great way to meet people. Humans are social creatures by nature, and it’s important to feel a belonging to a group. Being connected to others who share your interests is part of your true identity, and college is the perfect stage for exploring who that might be. 

The first step would be to sign up for as many different things as possible, within reason. You should never take on more than you can handle. The number one priority should still be an education, which means factoring in time for homework, studying, and sleeping. Recreational time, however, is yours to prioritize. 

From a resume perspective, the skills you will learn from volunteering will put you ahead of competition for future jobs after graduation. Any networking you can do while still a student will help you on the outside in the real world, in addition to making your name and reputation known as being reliable and trustworthy.