4 Reasons volunteering is essential to your undergrad

Throughout my undergraduate degree, I have volunteered several times through different organizations and can say with confidence I have thoroughly enjoyed each experience.

Each experience has something exciting to offer – from meeting new people – to learning about a new subject – to learning something even about yourself. It’s an amazing way to give back – not only to the community, but to yourself. These four tips will hopefully persuade you (if I haven’t already) to put yourself out there and find some opportunities!

1. Meeting new people

Maya volunteers for Santas Anonymous.

It can be extremely difficult meeting people in lectures and having to put yourself out there (speaking from experience). However, volunteering is a fantastic way to reach out of your comfort zone and easily meet people with similar interests, allowing for easy conversation and new friendships to be created.

There is also a possibility that people you volunteer with are also in your classes. That eliminates the need for awkward conversation starters to meet new people in your class! If only I had thought about this in first year…

2. Giving back to the community

One of the most important things of volunteering is lending a hand and giving back. It can be extremely rewarding knowing that you’ve made a difference in the community around you.

It can be as small or large as you wish. It does not have to have any direct correlations with the general population; even just by rinsing out some laboratory equipment in a research lab, you are giving away your time to help.

It’s an amazing feeling which is indescribable, so you’ll just have to see what I mean when I say that.

3. Finding your passion

Trev was an Orientation volunteer.

There are so many different volunteering opportunities around that it is likely you will find something that sparks a passion. For me, a few of my interests are science, music and the outdoors.

Just these three interests of mine can open countless opportunities in which I can volunteer for. If you are lost on where to start, just think about what you enjoy, and build on to that.

4.Career guidance

Thinking about post-graduation can be a little scary; here are a few questions that pop into my head when thinking about it. What will the job market be like? Am I qualified? What do I want to do?

When volunteering, you will gain invaluable qualifications which can be crucial in today’s job market, and moreover, gain a sneak peak at what various jobs consist of. Volunteering can also provide you with wealth of networking. Networking is an essential aspect of job searching, as it allows you to be referred to people in the industry and most importantly, employers which can help you land a job!

If you’re unsure where to start, you can look on UVic’s Learning in Motion, or you can look up ads on the local classified sites. Now go enjoy your undergrad and all of the experiences which come alongside!

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