It’s eight in the morning. You wake up, shower, get dressed, and then take that long hike to class. After sitting through 75 minutes of lecture, which happens to be irrelevant to your major, you make the trek back to your apartment to cook some brunch (yes, I said brunch–I apologize) followed by the homework that’s due in your next class, which… is in 15 minutes.
Once again, you’re walking to class and staring at your iPhone clock for another 75 minutes.
If this is how your day-to-day goes as a college student, even as a post grad, you’ll find it terribly difficult to find time to make a difference with volunteer work.
1. Go Clubbin’
Attention all Greek life! That’s right, we’re calling you out; the pastel wearing, American flag waving… if I gave anymore examples we’d be getting off track.
Really though, if you are a member of a fraternity or a sorority, it’s safe to say that you’re already contributing your time on and off-campus towards a philanthropic greater good. We raise our glasses to those of you who have decided to use your time to tap into the nonprofit world instead of a keg.
What’s that you say? You’re not a member of “I Aeta Pi”? Well it’s not such a terrible dilemma! This is your chance to view your interests and skills, and put them to use in a club on campus.
Find a club that does charitable work in a field that interests you. There are plenty of them on campus that meet weekly and conduct their volunteer work on the weekends. Now you’re set!
2. Bring Back Those Time Management Skills
Let’s think back to freshman year. We’ve all taken a “first year seminar” or a “principles of management” course. In those courses, a great deal of time was spent on instructing you how to manage your time.
Most of us, myself included, didn’t take those lessons very seriously and procrastinated our way through the next few years. Unfortunately, as you come to the end of your college career, responsibilities start to arrive — horrible responsibilities that take up most of your time. Now that you have, or are planning to have, a heavy involvement in volunteer work, you’re really going to need to manage your time.
You may have your own personal doubts regarding your lack of time management and organization. No worries, time management is something you can majorly improve.
All it takes is practice to improve upon them. Wake up earlier, designate gym time, and even prep your meals in advance. Do whatever it takes to give you an edge with your time.
3. Intern with a Nonprofit
If you’re in the process of looking for an internship this semester or summer, why not apply to a nonprofit organization? Interning with a nonprofit can literally give you 40+ hours a week to fit in all of the volunteer work your heart desires. Hey, in some cases you could even be paid for it.
If you don’t apply directly to a nonprofit, your company might have volunteer opportunities with a nonprofit organization they’ve teamed up with. In some even more unique circumstances, a company may have started a nonprofit of it’s own!
If you find yourself struggling to make time for volunteer work, this path leaves you with no excuses. You’ll put in work for a great cause, receive good karma, and land a few more credits as you reach graduation.
4. Volunteer Online
Let’s face it, if you’re juggling being a full time student, work, a work-study, your American Marketing Association, your inline hockey club, and preparing for what seems like endless exams this semester; we get it. There’s little, if not any, time left to volunteer.
At the end of the day, there are those moments where you’d rather put your downtime to good use instead of binge watching Netflix. Luckily for you, there are ways to volunteer online. You’re tech-savvy, aren’t ya?!
Websites like VolunteerMatch.org locates web-based volunteer opportunities you can do right from your couch. Whether it’s conducting a nonprofit’s social media efforts or writing briefs for grants, you’ll find endless amounts of volunteer work to get involved in right at home.
Sparked.com is another web-based outlet that uses a platform that enables busy people like you to volunteer. Large tasks are broken up into chunks so that you can complete your volunteer efforts at whatever time works best for you. All of this can be easily done from your laptop or smartphone. These tasks are small enough to fit into those dull moments at night that are otherwise filled with binge watching The Walking Dead.
See? There is Time.
Isn’t it surprising that there are actually simple ways to find the necessary time to volunteer? This knowledge is now in your hands. Get out there and make a difference, you time-managing warrior. Yet again, you’re proving that millennials can do great things!