Volunteering and Community Involvement


The first thing that I was told during orientation upon starting my college career was to “get involved.” It is a common idea spread throughout universities and colleges. It is a sensible idea: a university degree takes four years of full time schooling, it is impossible to begin a good career without both a degree and experience, and working retail does not give one adequate experience. But it wasn’t until I transferred to my current university that I actually began to get involved. The college that I intended was small had had little in the way of opportunities for involvement, but my current university is full of such opportunities.

I fully understand the importance of experience where a career is concerned, and I love participating in the activities that I participate in, but I sometimes can’t help but wonder what it’s all for. I want to become a writer. I don’t want a traditional career. I suppose if my dream doesn’t pan out, then I will be able to make use of my involvement, but I hope that that will not be the case. The best part of volunteering is the people that I have met and have gotten to know. That will always stick with me and make the time worth while. But my activities can be a real pain. Last week I had to put on a book sale that I had organized. I had to send out e-mails announcing the event, plan for storage of the books when they weren’t be sold. Get one of my club members to book the necessary space for the sale, and attempt to round up some unwilling volunteers to sell the books. That while attempting to put my schooling first.Needless to say, I had to skip a few classes. This coming week is only slightly better. On Tuesday my club has a mental health booth that we are not prepared for. Our intention was to help promote mental health with another club, but that won’t be happening. On Thursday my other volunteer group has a round table event on activism going on. Luckily that one is organized and I now just have to attend. Setting up these events is stressful. It takes multiple people to organize and pull off these events, but working with people isn’t exactly the easiest thing in the world. It would be helpful if I didn’t have other things going on at the same time, but there is always classwork to do and the regular weekly events to hold.

All that being said, I have gained real experience where planning and organizing events is concerned, and I have some concrete leadership training as well. I have some excellent resume material. And it has been interesting, and even fun, to get that experience. But the stress often drives me to hope that I never have to use that experience.

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