What’s the deal with becoming a volunteer?
Volunteering...What is it? Why do we need it? And why do people, especially students, talk so much about it?
For me, it's the way someone's dreams or ideas, that mostly lack the self-centered component, can turn into reality through the help of others. Especially for the young people, although not necessarily, it is a starting point to discover what they like to do, to use their motivation to help others. But also, it could be a starting point for their future career, the experience section you fill out in your CV. Also, I think it goes beyond this. By being part of a team, you can learn more about yourself. It's funny how by wanting to invest your time into helping others you end up helping yourself.
Step out of your comfort zone
And there you are, a freshman, most likely, a newbie in the field of Volunteering looking for the best possible ways to get you out of your comfort zone and help you become more of what you already are.
A good tip when looking for a place to volunteer is to make sure you find a place that you click with, that the ideas and the values promoted by them are compatible with yours, otherwise you will probably find yourself around a bunch of people that don't have many things in common with you, and you will find it dull and boring. Once you have decided where to go, it’s showtime.
I know how frustrating and scary it can be at the beginning, when you enter a room full of strangers who apparently know each other and share the same memories and inside jokes. We’ve all been through that, but that's the perfect time to make a move and step out of your comfort zone. Why not try to get to know some new people? Maybe the ones that you already met at the interview or anyone else. Join the events, try to be helpful as much as you can, take advantage of every opportunity where you can learn new things and evolve, also why not try doing activities that can help you gain new skills?
Whatever the possibilities are, the one who has the last call is still you. Take this chance and see how many amazing things can happen to you. There is no need to hide and become a wallflower, you won’t get anything out of that.
But where’s the fun in that?
At the end of the day what matters the most is to have a great and enjoyable experience. If it is not fun or if it feels like an obligation, you should probably let it go and try something different. After all, your time is the most precious thing that you have, so make sure you spend it wisely.
In my case, being part of ESN is something I absolutely enjoy. I met so many interesting people from whom I learned a lot, I also developed my skills and tried to work on different fields so I could gain others. It was and still is a funtastic experience.
I hope I was able to offer a glimpse of what volunteering is, even if there is still so much more left to say. Anyway, trying new things is always a good idea as long as it won’t harm you, and this definitely won’t. Then, why not give it a try?