If you’ve made it to college, you probably had some sort of volunteer activity on your application or resume. Activities can vary from tutoring to feeding the homeless to cleaning up trash at a local park. While volunteer activities can be a great resume builder, they can also be a lot of fun, and a great way to meet new people with shared interests at a new school. Here are some ways to get involved on your college campus.
1. See if your school has a volunteer center.
Some schools have a volunteer center on campus responsible for organizing events and helping students find volunteer opportunities. The center probably has a website and brochures for many upcoming volunteer events. Have a friend tag along or go solo to meet new people. You can probably search through different charities and events to see what is best for you.
2. Join a service-oriented club.
Most schools have clubs such as Rotaract or Circle K that are dedicated to volunteer work. They connect students with events and help local communities. They are also a great way to form new friendships and meet like-minded people. For example, I joined a club at my school that specifically volunteers with Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, two organizations I was involved with in high school.
3. See what your local religious organization has to offer.
Many religious organizations offer great opportunities to volunteer. They donate food and clothing and host fundraisers to support many charities. Speak with a member at your local church, temple or mosque about the different events they host and try to get involved.
4. Reach out to outside organizations.
Non-profits such as Greenpeace and the Red Cross look for various volunteers in many cities. You can help volunteer at blood drives, beach clean-ups and fundraising events through these organizations. There may even be a club for this on your campus! Look at the websites of these organizations to learn more about how you can help.
5. Create your own service club.
Maybe you want to volunteer in a certain sector, but your school doesn’t offer a club to fill that purpose. In that case, create your own! Find some friends who also want to get involved and create your own club to help your community grow and prosper. More people will want to be involved than you think.
6. Look at your school’s Facebook pages.
Many schools offer volunteer events online. You can help speak with prospective students or work at a school-sponsored event. These can help you fill any service requirements you may need and can help you learn more about your school.
7. Offer to tutor students.
While many experienced upperclassmen and graduate students work as paid tutors, many underclassmen help other students who have taken the same classes as you out of pure altruism. Let your friends know what classes you have taken, and you can always be there to help with homework. You can also work with organizations that offer free peer-tutoring on campus or in local public schools.
8. Become a tour guide.
Prospective students always want to look at your school’s campus first and foremost. And since you were once in their shoes, you know exactly what to tell them to prepare them to attend your school. While this may be a paid position at some schools, it still provides a great service for many high school students (and especially their parents).
9. Find friends who want to volunteer, too.
Meeting people who also want to get involved is a great way to hear about new events and opportunities. Having service-minded friends also helps you stay motivated and interested in community service. Plus, it’s always great to work with a buddy.
10. Get involved in Greek Life.
While frat brothers and sorority sisters are falsely known for non-stop partying, most are involved with a philanthropy project as well. Many chapters host annual events to promote their philanthropic cause. Some schools even have sororities or co-ed frats dedicated to community service and involvement.
College can be stressful, but it shouldn’t distract you from doing what you love. Staying involved helps you learn about the locals, meet new people, work on that resume and explore something you are generally interested in. The greatest reward, of course, is knowing that you have helped someone and truly made a difference in your community. Following these tips can help you achieve your service goals and make your campus a better place.
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