During my studies here in UL I have dedicated a lot of my time to volunteering. I have volunteered with the international office as a buddy, the access office as a mentor and even got to travel to Uganda for three weeks last summer to volunteer with Nurture Africa, just to name a few. Here are some of the gifts these experiences gave me.
Every new adventure brought new faces and stories. Be that from the people I was helping or those I was working with. Sharing experiences with like-minded people who enjoy helping others is one of the best things in the world. And meeting those who appreciated the little things you do to help them just gives you a warm feeling. These are the names and faces who will always have a place in your heart.
I have lost count of all the different coloured t-shirts I have gathered over the past three years. I also never need worry about pens or pencils as a nice supply has been collected from each event. It is funny the amount of joy something as simple as a jelly can give you just because it is free.
This was something I never really realised I was lacking until I found it. I found the confidence to be who I am and be proud of all that I have achieved. I spent a lot of time doubting myself, but volunteering has taught me about how much I am capable of and how strong I can be. Volunteering is not always easy but it is definitely worth it.
4. Cinema and TV debut
One of the strangest volunteering opportunities that came about was to feature in the most recent undergraduate marketing campaign. I was already volunteering with the arts department, helping promote my course and my UL experience through social media and blog posts. As I am not one to shy away from opportunities, I agreed and before I knew it I was watching myself in the cinema and on television. My thirty seconds of fame that I will never forget.
5. Kick-ass CV
One things employers like to see is versatility and the ability to be flexible. I have received many compliments about my CV and the one thing potential employers love to ask about is my volunteer experience. The interviews are nearly over by the time they have finished asking all their questions. The experience and skills that I have picked up through volunteering are a lot more valuable than I had initially realised.
Just in case you were wondering, the kick-ass CV is the reason I am currently employed!
I have learnt that volunteering does not only help change the lives of others, but changes your own. Since I dedicated a part of my life to volunteering I have felt so much happiness. Each experience had brought lessons which has shaped me into the cheerful individual I am today. My goal when volunteering is to bring a smile to at least one person’s face each day. Once I’ve achieved that I am delighted!