The Joy of Volunteering

With the fall semester coming to a close in the coming weeks and the thoughts of winter break rolling into our minds, I am sure some are wondering if they will be doing something to occupy their time during the upcoming winter session. Since taking a winter session class can be expensive for all of us on a college student budget, and getting a job for just a few weeks is highly unlikely, a good way to pass the time would be to do some volunteer work. Now, I am not going to give you some long-winded explanation of why volunteering is a good idea, but I would like to highlight some key reasons why it would be worth your time.

First of all, volunteering is a great résumé builder as well as a time to create some worthwhile connections out in the real world. Volunteering can bring you into contact with some amazing people and can lead to some great opportunities. These opportunities can include, but are not limited to, finding possible future careers, a finding of one’s own self (you can discover new things about yourself such as what you enjoy doing) or meeting some really great new people who could become lifelong friends and possibly act as bridge to your future. The results of volunteering go far beyond what I just listed above.

Second of all, if you are not taking a winter session, you have a six-week gap between the time the fall semester ends and the spring semester begins. During that time, I understand you want to relax, spend with family and catch up on all the sleep and Netflix that you have been missing out on because of your assignments. Trust me though, six weeks of nothing to do but rest will drive you crazy. It is not enough time to get a job, but it is too much to spend just being lazy. You will get bored very quickly; I have learned this from personal experience. Instead of spending your time lounging around doing whatever, you could give back to the community. There are volunteer options literally everywhere you go, no matter where you are or where you are staying.

Finally, giving back to the community is a great way to spread some cheer and happiness during these cold winter months. There are probably people in your community who are struggling to make through this winter season. Help is needed everywhere. It could be at your local church or even in your own neighborhood. You can help with donations to organizations that help people worldwide, help with all the recent flood relief chaos that has been ravaging this part of the country or you can even do something as simple as shoveling snow for people when, and if, we get snow this winter. Share the happiness you carry within you, and if you do not have happiness within you, then volunteer this winter because someone’s happiness may rub off on you.

Honestly, volunteering is probably one of the best ways to spend one’s free time. Especially when that free time is six weeks of pure boredom when you cannot afford to do winter session. Whether it is for connection building, a new pass time or even just to spread some love and kindness, you should volunteer. Now, I could go on and on with more reasons why volunteering is important, but it is a choice that you as a person have to make. I cannot force you to volunteer, but if you are looking for something new and exciting to do, then volunteering may be for you.

Jonathan Joyner