This Student Volunteering Week we are focusing on the amazing difference volunteering makes – both for the student and the communities they serve. All We Can’s Donations Administrator, Jenna Taylor, shares why she continues to say ‘yes’ to volunteering alongside studying and working.
I’m making my way through my fifth year of university student-hood (yes, still here delaying my entrance into the full-time working world), and alongside my studies I am fortunate enough to have been welcomed in as a part of the All We Can family. Although the combination of university and part-time work has occupied most of my time across the five years, I have done my best to squeeze in volunteering opportunities where I can, both because I enjoy it and because I’m a big believer in the importance of volunteering for students.
The desire to do good and create positive change will always be a driving force for volunteers from all different backgrounds and fields. It is a rewarding feeling knowing that your actions can have an impact. Anybody who has volunteered will recognise the personal fulfillment that comes with that. I think beyond this overarching motivation there are also a number of other benefits for students who choose to volunteer.
Firstly, for me finding the right balance between studying and having a life outside of the pressures of the university bubble has always been vital. I’ve often struggled with taking breaks from studying as they came with a feeling of guilt about wasting valuable time, but I quickly found that volunteering offered me a chance to take that much needed breather and still feel like I was being productive with my spare time.
I found that volunteering can truly be a great escapism from the stresses of exams, essay writing and all other dramas that come with university life. Volunteering gives you time to refocus your energy on something other than an impending deadline. It also goes without saying that volunteering is undoubtedly a great CV builder and career prospect booster, both for those wanting to work in the charity sector as well as students with completely different career aspirations. Volunteering can give you chance to learn new skills or apply existing skills to a new area, build your network and relationships outside of university, and demonstrates personal qualities like passion and empathy to future employers – things that will make you a valuable asset to any company.
Sometimes the routine and monotony of student life combined with the increasing awareness of the world’s injustices can leave you feeling uninspired; so many students face that problem at some point in the course of their studies. Volunteering can truly open up more avenues for ideas, opportunities and empowerment than you might expect. So if you have the drive and the time then go! Be that volunteer!
Would you like to say ‘yes’ to volunteering with All We Can? Find out more