Hey, high school juniors and seniors… listen up!

You’re almost there. Graduation is on the horizon, and you’re gearing up for the next big chapter. Among all the buzz, you’re probably thinking about ways to beef up your resume for college. If so, volunteering was probably one of the first things that came to your mind.

It’s a common move for students looking to gain an edge on their college applications. After all, when you’re applying to colleges, they want to see a well-rounded student.

Grades matter, but so does what you do outside the classroom. Volunteer hours can be a big “gold star” on your application, sitting right up there with your GPA and extracurriculars. It shows colleges you’ve got initiative and a heart for others.

But, trust us, the benefits of volunteering extend way beyond impressing admissions officers. Today, let’s talk about why volunteering is more than just a line item on your resume by exploring four really good reasons to volunteer that aren’t just about college application points:

#1. Find Your Fire

Volunteering isn’t just about helping others; it’s a chance to find out what gets you fired up. Love animals? Help out at an animal shelter. Concerned about saving the planet? Get involved in environmental projects.

Picking something you’re passionate about means volunteering won’t feel like just another task; it’ll be something you genuinely enjoy. Plus, it’s a safe space to explore potential career paths or subjects you might want to study in college.

#2. Skills for Days

When you volunteer, you’re not just giving your time. You’re also picking up skills that are super valuable both now and down the line.

We’re talking teamwork, communication, problem-solving, and managing your time. This is all stuff that’s golden for college and beyond. But, each time you volunteer, you’re stepping up your game in ways you might not even realize.

Volunteer work can be a great way to learn how to work with different types of people. You can gain the skills to handle unexpected situations and juggle various tasks. These are all essential skills no matter where life takes you.

#3. New Friends, New Perspectives

When you think about volunteer work, you’re probably not thinking about socializing or networking. But, consider the fact that it will put you in the mix with people who care about the same things you do. This can mean new friends and mentors who can help you as you start figuring out life after high school. 

Getting involved in different causes can also open your eyes to new perspectives and experiences, shaping how you see the world. These connections can provide insights into different cultures, communities, and ways of life. In this way, it can enrich your understanding of the diverse world we live in.

#4. Feel-Good Vibes

Here’s a secret: volunteering can actually make you feel really good.

Helping others has a way of boosting your mood and giving you a sense of purpose. We don’t just mean this in an abstract sense; scientific data backs up the notion that helping others will make you a happier, more fulfilled person. “Research indicates that those who consistently help other people experience less depression, greater calm, fewer pains and better health,” according to Mental Health America.

It’s about making a difference and feeling good while doing it. This emotional boost is vital, especially during times when life can be overwhelming. It’s a reminder that your actions have a positive impact, not just on others, but on your own mental and emotional well-being.

More Than a Line on a Resume

In the end, volunteering is about so much more than just trying to impress a college admissions board. It’s about discovering what you love. 

Volunteer work can be a great way to explore different occupations and activities for which you might have a previously undiscovered passion or aptitude. It enables you to build skills, make connections, expand your worldview, and boost your own well-being.

As you stand at the edge of graduation, think about something that sparks your interest, and give it a go. You might be surprised at how much you get out of it. Volunteering isn’t just a way to pad your resume; it’s an opportunity to grow, learn, and make a difference.

Get out there and give it a try. It could be one of the most rewarding things you ever do!