Your time as a university student is a very exciting time. During your degree you will notice that there are many businesses and organisations available to students who wish to volunteer, with university clubs and societies being easily accessible for students while studying. Volunteering is a form of leisure, which brings together like-minded people, and gives participants the opportunity to develop professional, personal and social skills. Volunteering has been shown to improve the quality of life for students in numerous ways.
There are five main categories in which volunteering can positively impact on a student’s life:
- Personality traits – Students volunteering in a student club or society generally become more ambitious and have a greater enthusiasm to accept challenges. The challenges and opportunities presented to those who volunteer give students the tools to gain a higher sense of confidence, while spending their free time in a meaningful way.
- Acquiring new skills – Students who volunteer can expect to develop new skills throughout their time at an organisation. The skills that you can expect to learn as a volunteer in a student club or organisation include communication skills, working as a team, leadership and consultation skills and the ability to effectively problem solve. Volunteers also tend to become better public speakers, allowing themselves to be more confident in making their opinions heard to others in an authoritative position. All of these skills will benefit you in the different aspects of your life.
- Education – Students who volunteer are given the opportunity to apply aspects of their coursework in a practical sense within a student club or organisation. Volunteering can improve the study habits of students, as the need for better time management and organisation skills is higher. A student’s life can be very busy, so it’s essential that you determine whether you can fit a volunteer position into your schedule. It’s important that you don’t sacrifice the quality of your coursework for the volunteer position, and vice versa.
- Employment – Volunteering in a student club or organisation often leads to networking opportunities. It’s important for student’s to build their own network of professionals, to enhance and benefit their career prospects. Volunteering often gives students the confidence they need in job interviews. Experience with volunteering on a CV can be very attractive to potential employers, as volunteers gain knowledge of organisational practices and policies, compliance and the operations.
- Social and cultural life – Your first year at university can be very daunting if you don’t know anyone, and joining a student club or society can help to alleviate some of that anxiety. Joining a club or society gives students the opportunity to make new friends, the chance to communicate and learn from people of different backgrounds and cultures, as well as gain a sense of community spirit and belonging.
If volunteering with a student club or society is something you feel would benefit you, click here for a list of UON clubs and societies.