Are you currently sitting around the house, wondering what to watch next on Netflix, bummed out because your summer job, internship or travel plans did not come together as you expected? Good news: You’re not alone! The global pandemic has turned many aspects of our lives upside down, and now that the spring semester is over, students are left wondering what to do with all their newfound free time. If this sounds like you, you should consider putting your time into volunteering!
The summer months are usually a critical time for college students to earn some money and/or gain valuable real-world experience. While spending your time volunteering will not accomplish the first of these goals, it most definitely can provide you with some great real-world experience. We at the Clog do acknowledge that some students do need to earn money over the summer.
However, those who are in a position that allows them to spend their time volunteering, it’s important to remember that because so many aspects of our lives are changed right now, we also need to reevaluate our expectations for ourselves. Add to this the fact that there are so many people in need of help and organizations seeking extra manpower, so volunteering will be the perfect way to spend your time. Able-bodied and bright-minded college students like yourself are sure to be welcomed into volunteer positions.
With so many people currently in need of help, there’s bound to be a volunteer opportunity out there for you. We recommend checking your city, town or county government’s website to find out where help is most needed in your community. You can also check out national organizations such as Meals on Wheels or the American Red Cross. For those of you feeling anxious about the risk of infection, there are many volunteer opportunities that are relatively contact-free — you can deliver meals to those who cannot leave their houses, or work remotely in contact tracing or through organizing volunteers, to name a few.
When contacting the organization you’d like to become involved with, it’s important to be patient and persistent. These groups are dealing with unprecedented circumstances and are sometimes struggling to keep up with assisting their target groups and process incoming volunteer applications. Do your research, apply to several positions with different groups that interest you and follow up with emails or phone calls if needed.
In summary, for those of us who are bored and able to, there’s no reason not to find a volunteer position for the summer. There’s one out there for every skill set and level of comfort with interacting with others. Doing this will give some purpose and structure to your days while allowing you to give back to your community. From where we stand, it’s a win-win situation!