LSU blog series: The benefits of volunteering
Welcome to the next LSU blog for Loughborough University London students! In this blog, Loughborough Students’ Union (LSU) London School President, Amie Woodyatt, talks about how volunteering can benefit you and shares her experience of volunteering whilst studying.
It must be said that at Loughborough I’ve been somewhat of a ‘keeno’; I’ve probably done hundreds of hours volunteering for various sections of LSU. And while this may seem like a waste of valuable academic-focus time, it’s actually developed me, my CV, and the very career path I want to go down.
I have seen volunteering have a huge impact on so many others. Improving mental health, introducing amazing friends, and gaining a huge sense of camaraderie with other volunteers when they accomplish things together. Alongside the ‘expected’ benefits of skills development, that’s what makes volunteering important.
Having a break away from studies is so good for you; being productive 24/7 will only lead to burnout, so it’s vital you give your brain a break. I personally struggle to take breaks where I do nothing, so volunteering keeps me busy, but doing something I enjoy.
I also enjoy my degree, but, watching lectures and writing reports can get monotonous. Spice up your life with a little volunteering!
Of course, it’s also great to work on soft skills, improve your teamwork, time management, and interpersonal skills, for example. This year as School President, I have solidified my collaborative leadership style, my project management, and my diplomacy (liaising with students and staff about fees, anyone?).
And as much as I hate to say it, the job market sucks right now, so the more experience you have (for your own sake and your potential employers) the better!
For volunteering opportunities directly provided on the London campus, there are two main groups; Institute Reps and the Postgraduate Support and Social Network. However, this is a fantastic time to make the most of living in London and explore avenues within the local community!
Whilst COVID-19 may have made casual volunteering harder, there are still lots of ways to get involved. Dog walking, helping local businesses with their online presence, or volunteering to run a support or social group; it’s the perfect place to get creative!
I may be slightly biased… I realised I wanted to go into leadership and management because of volunteering. I have made a lot of friends through volunteering and even met my partner through volunteering. I could sell volunteering to you for many reasons, but instead I’ll summarise it as this:
Volunteering is the perfect way to give back, learn about yourself, and find friends who will become your family.
We’d love to hear from you about the topics you’d like to be covered as part of the LSU London blog series.
Loughborough University London and Loughborough Students’ Union would like to thank Amie Woodyatt for this blog.
To find out more about the LSU in London, please visit our website.
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