Doing for Others Helps You, Too
When things have got you down, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to volunteer your time to help others. Volunteers tend to have a higher self-esteem than their counterparts, as well as a healthier psychological sense of well-being and a happier outlook on the world as well. As your social connectivity increases by engaging with new and different people, your feelings will naturally rise as well as you continue to make new friends. Volunteerism even has been shown to improve health and longevity.
Benefits of Volunteering
Other benefits of volunteering that have been noticed is that students who volunteer tend to see a positive effect on their grades, self-confidence, and general attitudes towards education. Volunteering also has been shown to lead to reduced drug use and contribute to huge declines in dropout rates and teen pregnancies.
For high school students, volunteering gives them a taste of adult life, which they have been craving for years. And participating in adult activities contributes to natural acquisition of a positive sense of well-being. Finding a way to help others helps you do good things for yourself as well. As volunteering becomes a part of one’s social life, younger generations may even begin to consider it as something they would like to share on their various social networks as well.
How Volunteering Can Help You
Many look at volunteering as a win-win situation, oozing self-pride into a community as well. When a volunteer helps someone in need, it makes them feel good about themselves that they were able to do something for someone who couldn’t help themselves. And on the other foot, the people they are helping are happy, and grateful, because they are getting what they need, and probably couldn’t afford to do for themselves. If a student takes a particular interest in a certain type of volunteering, it may give them a chance to learn something about themselves, perhaps sending them in the direction of their future career.
Reasons to Volunteer
There are endless reasons, and opportunities, to volunteer in your community. Here are just a few:
- Giving back to the community that was always there for you
- Gaining valuable life experiences and skills
- Meeting interesting people
- Getting school credit
- Having something on your resume that isn’t me-centric
- Making a difference in your own life and in those of others around you
- Improving both your mental and physical health
With everyone having such busy lives these days, it can be hard to find time to volunteer. However, the benefits of volunteering are enormous to you, your family, and your community. Through volunteering, you can experience the world in a hands-on way, instead of just reading about it in a book. Whether you decide to build houses for the homeless or help the local garden club spruce up a dirty old vacant lot, you can explore your interests and perhaps find one that just happens to be calling your name.
It’s easy to get involved. Call programs based in your community and ask if they need help, or visit your town’s website, to look for volunteer opportunities. Reach out to a local museum or other cultural institutions; get in touch with other similar organizations that might need an extra set of hands to help out. Religious organizations and community colleges also sponsor volunteer groups.