Community Service in College
Community service is an important part of your education that you should not overlook.
While I was in high school, our student council went to a local retirement home and decorated for the Christmas holidays.
We spent the week leading up to the trip cutting out squares from cardboard boxes and covering them in wrapping paper. We came armed with those and more supplies and spent the few hours we were able to be out of school asking the residents if we could decorate for them, taping the squares on their doors and sticking bows on top.
The effect was that it looked like they had Christmas presents right on their front door. Our effort added cheer to the place and brightened the residents’ days each time they saw the decorations.
Now that I’m a student at Angelo State, I have had the opportunity to participate in Angelo Serves, a day when students can sign up to volunteer for various organizations and businesses around town and help them with whatever projects or jobs they need done.
Through the program, I got to help Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue, which cares for donkeys that have been abused or abandoned. I also got to help San Angelo Friends of the Environment Recycling Center. We broke down machines for recycling, picked up trash, sorted recyclables and weeded flowerbeds. Both opportunities consisted of hot, dirty work but of the most rewarding kind.
I think the value of community service is often overlooked. To begin, college students may not have a lot of free time to spend helping others. In addition, they might be tired from everything else they have going on and might just want to relax whenever they can. They also may not know how to get involved in serving others, or they may not have ever even considered the idea of doing so in college.
I’m here to tell you that the benefits definitely outweigh any excuse you can come up with. Community service can be conducive to your growth because of its very nature: Humbling yourself to help other people is a great way to learn about who you are and who you wish to become. Besides, who can say they don’t get a great feeling whenever they are able to make somebody else’s day better?
There are a lot of ways to get involved in community service at ASU. Many student organizations plan and participate in various community service events, so joining an organization can be a great way to start. There is also a component of Student Life at ASU called Community Service that offers lots of opportunities for you to volunteer your time.
Besides the internal and personal benefits community service can give you, it also looks very good on a résumé, especially if your career of choice will look upon service hours favorably. Keeping careful track of how you have helped others can be very useful if you plan to apply to graduate school, or even for your future career.
In the end, it’s your free choice what to do with your time, and I know it can be hard to muster the energy to go to the gym, much less get up early on a Saturday for a charity walk. I also know, however, that there are great rewards to be reaped from community service that can only be truly realized once you have participated.