Why do some people serve, while others sit on the side-lines? This month, Community-Academic Partners in Service (CAPS) is focusing on key ways you can increase satisfaction, while volunteering.
Top 5 Tips:
- Create a positive atmosphere for yourself and others, no matter your circumstances.
It is easy to get bogged down with your environment, people, and ultimately school but it is what you do with those situations that help you become a better person, volunteer, and leader. Seek positive friendships, meditate, practice social media detox, and get outdoors!
- Find programs that pique your interest and serve.
There are times where you may feel you do not fit in, but when it comes to service there are many ways to get involved; the key to positive service experience is in the eye of the beholder. Find programs that are in line with hobbies or types of activities you enjoy.
- Develop friendships, and be open to different experiences.
Just moved to a new area, and looking to meet new people? Chances are that if you get involved in outreach you will find individuals who push themselves to support others. Switch your mindset from a defeated tone "I will not meet others" to an inspired tone “Why not meet others?” Drive yourself to try different hobbies and you will be happier in your life, the people you meet, and how you serve.
- Be willing to sacrifice.
It’s hard to visualize what service is because it is free. Service is something that often requires an individual to give up something, and possibly not be rewarded. Understand that in order for service to be beneficial, growth has to occur; it is not spontaneous. Service comes at a cost, but the reward is worth the wait.
- Don’t allow fear to hold you back.
Fear is funny, it knows how to grip you in all the right places, tell you that you are not good enough, and keep you from living life. Since fear is a primary driver that may restrict the people you know or those you interact with, tell fear no. Service can be a tool used to regulate the amount of anxiety you allow in your life. Outreach opportunities are a positive outlet that allow you to be more productive, grow spiritually, physically, mentally, as well as de-stress.
Service is tricky, too much and you get burned out, too little and you may not connect with the community you are trying to serve. When I think of different ways to serve, the best are often found in places that are unlikely, but ultimately it starts with the perspective of the person and the heart they choose to serve with. This list is in no way complete, but gives each individual a way to start thinking about what it means for them to start serving in their life, their community, or at home.
Written by Macy Westbrook