In my last four years at The University of Akron, my personal favorite way to get involved on has been to volunteer.
Each of my volunteer experiences, from organizing donations in local Goodwills to passing out candy during Boo at the Akron Zoo, have exposed me to the greater community and inspired a sense of purpose within me.
I believe that this is an experience that everybody should try to achieve while in college. Adam Beverly, the student involvement coordinator in the Department of Student Life, agrees.
“Each volunteer experience opens your eyes to real world issues happening around us and how nonprofit organizations strive to help,” Beverly said. “Students who volunteer have the opportunity to expand their views, meet new people and connect to the community.”
In addition, a 2015 study reported that undergraduate students who volunteered up to nine hours a week claimed to have lower levels of depression.
Another benefit of volunteering according to Habitat for Humanity, is that it helps students transition into a full-time career. With volunteering can come exposure to new connections and career fields, as well as a stronger resume.
The personal benefits that come from volunteering shouldn’t overshadow its impact on the community, though.
Beverly said while it does feel good to give back, volunteering is beneficial because it is a selfless act from which you can learn about others.
“It builds empathy for others and helps you understand your own privileges,” Beverly said.