Why should you volunteer?

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Volunteering in university- let’s be honest, do you really have the time? Most of your days are spent pulling your hair out over assignments due in two hours between various Netflix breaks. Between school, work, and social life, when would you have time to volunteer, and why should you bother? While this situation may be true, here are five good reasons why you should find the time to start volunteering, both for your benefit and that of others.   

It looks impressive on your resume

For part-time positions during the year, summer jobs, and work after university, employers love to see a dedicated and helpful job candidate. According to the United Way blog, there are many ways that university students can use volunteer work to help them get a paid position. Read what United Way has to say here: https://www.unitedway.org/blog/5-ways-college-grads-can-use-volunteer-experience-to-get-a-job

It allows you to break into a new field

Looking to try something new? Volunteer experience will not only allow you to see if this new interest is really for you, but it will also set you apart from other candidates. While you may not have the skills to earn a paid position yet, you can see how the process works, and get a leg up against your competitors in future job opportunities.  

It gives you a break from studying

While it may be nice to scroll Instagram and Snapchat to take a break from school, there are a lot of positive effects of volunteering. First and foremost, it forces you to take a break from your textbooks and focus on something else for a while. As stated by happiness.com, volunteering can also help to build and foster your self-esteem, physical and mental health. More on why volunteering is important here:  https://www.happiness.com/en/magazine/personal-growth/why-volunteering-is-important-benefits/

It gives you a sense of purpose

Volunteering can also offer a sense of purpose by helping others and giving back to the community. It can even be a place to socialize and make friends, meaning you can simultaneously improve someone else’s day and your own. Not only can volunteering build relationships with the people you are helping, but it can also help you connect with fellow volunteers and foster new relationships. You could even decide to volunteer with a friend!  

It offers flexibility

Unlike a paid position, volunteering can fit around your schedule. Looking for a one-time experience at a concert or festival? This requires low commitment and you will likely – nay, almost certainly – get in for free. Or, if interested in something consistent, sign up for a weekly, biweekly, or monthly slot that fits with your schedule.  

Where to volunteer in Saint John

The YMCA is just down the street from the UNBSJ campus, a short bus ride on the 9B. You can help in the community by working in childcare, aquatics, housekeeping, fitness, literacy tutoring, and more. Call (506) 646-2116 to speak with the YMCA volunteer coordinator. 

The Canadian National Institute for the Blind is also a fun place to volunteer as a vision mate. This allows those who are blind to remain active members of their communities. For more information on current needs for volunteers, contact Debbie Jeffery, the Recreation and Volunteer Coordinator, at Debbie.Jeffery@inca.ca or 506 857-4240, extension 5611. 

It is certain that many of you have gotten an email requesting a note-taker for one of your classes. This is an excellent way to give back to fellow students with hardly any additional effort. In fact, it may even encourage you to regularly attend class. Those interested can contact the campus’ Accessibility Centre at kcraft@unb.ca or drop by their office in Oland Hall.

Do none of these seem like the place for you? Visit http://volunteersaintjohn.com/#sthash.ulBtezgq.dpbs to discover what other volunteer opportunities Saint John has to offer.  

Why wouldn’t you volunteer?

One of the many great things about volunteering is how wide the possibilities stretch. From listening to an old lady tell you stories or handing out flyers promoting breast cancer awareness, give to those who need your help by embracing a new experience. The question is not really “why volunteer” after all – it’s why wouldn’t you? 

Emily is in her fourth year of Political Science. She loves studying and academics which follows into her research work. She's a stern black coffee drinker and is a proud Acadienne. When she's not working or doing school work, you can find Emily listening to 70s music on vinyl and watching Parks and Recreation. If you ask her about parliamentary institutions, she won't stop talking.