Although most people think community service won’t benefit them in the long run (unless you’re trying to do social work or whatever else), it’s something that’ll give you a step above most of your competition.
Why, you may ask?
The benefits are numerous, as you can, according to an article by Scholarships.com, boost your resume, build a network and grow as a person. “According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, individuals with higher levels of educational attainment are consistently more likely to volunteer than those with less education, and in 2009, more than 42 percent of college graduates volunteered,” said the article. Clearly, education and community service correlate, and it’ll make you a much better candidate for the job you’re applying for.
Other than the three main points mentioned in the previous article, another article explains the importance of volunteering as a way to better understand the real world. On campus, service fraternities and campus-wide service projects offer a chance to connect with members of the community, enhance your network of professionals, understand the community and better others around you (although you can’t deny how much better you feel about yourself from doing it).
And professionals understand that. As I begin applying for jobs (a task that is more daunting than exciting at this point), I’ve come to realize that some jobs prefer volunteer experience. Trying to work in communications? Well, a job in community outreach might not be ideal for you without prior volunteer experience. Sometimes, it’s even preferred (and says so on applications).
And no, I’m not saying you should do service mainly to better your resume. Service is more than a resume builder- (as corny as it sounds) it’s a chance to change your life and the lives of others around you; it’s a chance to benefit (well, in this case) a community that isn’t as fortunate as those living in the surrounding college town.
“As far as where I’m substitute teaching right now, it has helped plenty with understanding the backgrounds of who lives and works in the community and helps me feel apart of it,” said Nate Freeman, a 2013 OU graduate and education major. As excelling academically is important, it’s also important to utilize hands-on volunteer experience to integrate into a job, no matter what your major may be.
So, take a break from drinking (or sleeping or playing video games or whatever you do in your spare time) and make a difference in a community that you’ve come to love and grow in. I know it’s put a lot in perspective for me.