November 9, 2017, by Chloe

‘Why do you volunteer when you don’t get paid?’

The title of this post comes from a conversation with my brother over the weekend. I was busy telling my family about all of the volunteering projects I’ve been involved with this term and other ones I want to do. Initially I didn’t really know how to respond. I mean, he makes a good point…Why, as a ‘broke’ student, do I willingly give up my time for free? Wouldn’t it be better for me to have a part time job instead?

But there’s so many reasons why volunteering whilst at uni is a good idea. I have more free time now than I ever did before and ever will in the future, until I retire. Humanities students have very few contact hours, so doing volunteering projects is a great reason to get out of the house. There’s opportunities to mix with new groups of people, doing different things. Personally I feel like time spent volunteering is never wasted time and I feel less guilty than I would doing other activities when I ‘should’ be studying.

The projects themselves can be part of the motivation. Being passionate for a cause makes you want to do as much as possible to help.

I think sometimes time commitment can put people off of volunteering. Yet most projects I know ask for only a small minimum commitment. Night Owls for example, only requires one shift of 4 hours a month. Other projects like Student Minds can be completely flexible. Some might require a more regular commitment such as the schools programmes, but even these shouldn’t take up too much time.

The point I’m trying to make is that most people could probably find time to volunteer. There’s even activities you can do only that take less than five minutes! And there’s so much you can get out of it – experience, leadership skills, helping the community, volunteer recognition and a wider social network.

The real question is ‘Why wouldn’t you want to volunteer?’

Find out about all the volunteering opportunities available to you at UoN.

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