In this short blog post, I hope to share some of my volunteering experiences at Durham. It truly is a worthwhile activity that I hope you try out at least once while at university!
I enjoy helping others out, which has also earned me the title “that ‘mom’ friend”. At the Fresher’s Fair, I immediately signed up for Computeas, a weekly commitment to help the elderly out with technology, something I have always done for my loved ones. Two years on, I still remember a service user who enthusiastically shared her jam-making expertise. I also got to befriend Adam, someone I would not have met outside of volunteering.
I tutored Mathematics weekly with 1-2-1 Tutoring. I was later promoted to co-Project Leader with Anna, another good friend I would not have met otherwise. Occasionally, I baked for Free Cakes for Kids, which involved fun memories like braving the rain to keep the cakes dry.
This year, I will be taking a more active role in promoting volunteering as Vice President of Durham University Student Volunteering and Outreach (DUSVO) student exec with the brilliant Lijie, Izzy, Kai, Daisy, Emily, and Tatyana.
Everyone volunteers for a different reason, I simply enjoy it. Personally, it has always brought me unrivaled joy and positivity. I also find that fellow volunteers tend to have great personalities, and make the best friends through thick and thin. On the practical side, volunteering can enhance your employability and soft skills too, like communication, empathy, and organisation.
Beyond helping others, volunteering has helped me grow as an individual too. Clichéd as it may sound, I learnt to manage my time and relationships better. In a term all Economics students are familiar with, opportunity costs exist. Time is finite. You can do anything but not everything. With a sense of responsibility to my service users and myself, I did my best to balance my volunteering commitments with my academic commitments.
Volunteering is something I genuinely encourage everyone to try at least once. You may or may not enjoy it, but it will be a good learning experience regardless. If you are interested in knowing more about volunteering, please feel free to reach out to me via firstname.lastname@example.org or Lijie at email@example.com. We are more than happy to share more with you. Take care! ヽ( ･∀･)ﾉ
Find out more about student volunteering opportunities here