I Have No Time to Volunteer
(Note: This was written before the current COVID-19 situation, but there are many ways to volunteer other than in-person!)
If you told me in first year that volunteering would ease my stress levels, I’d look at you as if you were speaking nonsense.
I thought volunteering meant long-term commitment and a certain number of hours each week, which suggests less time to study and sleep.
I wasn’t prepared to dive into something while still adjusting all the changes of entering university. Spoiler: it doesn’t have to be!
Although reasons for volunteering usually vary around wanting it to look good on a resume or to make connections for future career prospects, I’ve learned that the process and outcome can actually be very different.
Last semester, I decided to start volunteering at a society near downtown Victoria and it was extremely daunting to start something new.
However, 3 months in and I’ve already gotten used to going to volunteer every week. As I normally walk to school, it was a nice change being on the bus for an hour every Tuesday. It allowed me to be by myself and to recollect my thoughts or to listen and get lost in songs.
Many of the volunteers also attend UVic and there was always a light and fun environment whenever I walked in. It’s been great learning new skills that I wouldn’t have gotten through going to school.
Although it can seem hectic to allot time aside for volunteering, I think there are great benefits that extend beyond academics, such as boosting mental health to prevent burning out from being stuck on school-work.
There are lots of opportunities to volunteer at UVic and around Victoria so I suggest doing some research and don’t hesitate to reach out to people if you’re interested!