College admissions are becoming more competitive every year. At this point, good grades and difficult classes aren’t always going to cut it; universities are looking for students who are truly contributing members of society. If you are looking for ways to stand out in the application process, volunteering your time is a great way to do so. The upcoming spring and summer months bring many opportunities to help others in your community, and it’s never too late to get involved.
Don’t know where to start? Check out local organizations such as animal shelters, environmental preservation groups, food banks, or nonprofits, for example. Many students create time each week to volunteer by walking dogs, cleaning up litter, planting trees, or packaging meals. It’s a great way to actively connect with people in your community on a regular basis. By creating these connections, you are helping others plus making relationships with those who could provide references on applications when they are needed in the future.
In addition, becoming involved with volunteer organizations around the country—such as Kiwanis, Rotary, or Lions clubs—is a great and easy way to participate in volunteer opportunities in your community. You could even start your own Key Club in your high school or Circle K club at your college, both of which are affiliated with the Kiwanis. As a member of a service group, you can meet local people who share the same goal of helping others and spend some time with friends to make serving your community even more fun. Through involvement in organizations such as these, you will be lending a hand to those in need, working on projects to benefit your city, and networking with the leaders of your community.
Many colleges look for and are impressed by students who are actively committed to a cause. If you are interested in politics, look into devoting time to a campaign, or consider lending a hand at an animal shelter if you are interested in a future career with animals. These offer real-life experience and give you a role in the community. Or search for opportunities relating to an issue you care about, such as homelessness, poverty, or the environment, and find ways to help locally. If there are specific organizations and causes you are interested in helping and bringing awareness to, consider reaching out to them to see how you can assist them on the local level.
Through volunteering you can enhance your college résumé, develop strong time management skills, help those in your community, and become engaged with the society around you. So overall, it really is a win-win situation.
What will you volunteer your time for this year? Let us know in the comments below!