Part of the college experience is getting to know the community you live in. Whether that community is on-campus or around the city, it’s essential for students to bond with those people and form connections.
One of the easiest ways to connect with the community is through volunteer work. Volunteering allows you to participate in an activity you’re passionate about while also gaining a sense of belonging to the community. If you’re feeling adventurous you can always branch out to an organization that you might otherwise not participate with.
In Mankato, there are various volunteer organizations available for students to participate in, no matter their interest. Whether you want to work with animals at BENCHS or meet other students on campus through organizations such as Mavs in Action, the options are endless.
Not only does volunteering connect you with the community, it allows you to make work-based connections and opens the door to networking opportunities.
In the growing workforce it seems as if everyone you meet has some sort of connection to another. Having these people as resources can rocket-launch your future career and get you to places you’ve only dreamed of. This guidance can be in the form of references, networks, or life long friends.
With the idea of future careers in mind, volunteering also stands out on a resume. It shows potential bosses that you enjoy getting involved and giving back to the community. It can show that you’re a team leader and that you can work well with others to get tasks accomplished. These skills, beyond others, will help you not only in your career but with your everyday life as well.
When you volunteer, there’s a sense of accomplishment you feel during and after the event. Whether you’re filling water cups for people participating in the Mankato Marathon or spending time mentoring a kid through the YMCA Big Brother/Sister Program, there’s an important role for you to fulfill through volunteer work.
Going out and volunteering is also beneficial for your mental health. Interacting with other people and completing a task together will allow you to meet others within the community and bond with them. It’s always intimidating meeting new people in a city you may not know, and volunteering is the perfect way to go about that. Stepping out of your comfort zone can be daunting, but overcoming your fears can build everlasting peronable skills.
While you may think to yourself that taking the time out of your day to volunteer isn’t worthwhile because it’s free labor, understand that there’s more to work than money. The amount of time it takes to volunteer somewhere can range anywhere from an hour to a full day’s worth of work, but in the end you still gain something from it.
(Mansoor Ahmad/The Reporter)