Enhance Your College Experience Through Service

posted on Monday, Nov 07 2011

College is about self-discovery. It is a time when students meet new people, encounter new ways of thinking and begin to navigate their future career path. Campus life presents students with many opportunities to get involved with various college clubs and community organizations as well as to discover new areas of interest so they can receive a well-rounded college experience.

Online students have a much different college experience than traditional students. Students often choose online degree programs based on their convenience and flexibility to fit their busy schedules. Most online students work full-time, and some have families, which reduces the amount of time they have to integrate with the student body on campus and participate in a rich student life experience. However, this doesn’t mean that nontraditional students can’t get involved with campus life. Many college campuses offer community service opportunities that allow both on-campus and off-campus students to give back. Also, the holiday season is the perfect chance for students to get involved and make a difference in their communities. Contact your student life office for a list of volunteer opportunities connected with your school. If you cannot participate in a campus-wide volunteer event, check out some of these opportunities available in most communities:

  • Salvation Army Angel Tree strives to ensure that every child in your community receives gifts on Christmas morning. You can volunteer with this initiative in various ways, including distributing angels for adoption, staffing the Angel Tree booth for gift collection and working at an area warehouse to distribute gifts that community members purchased for the Angel Tree families. You can also adopt an angel to provide gifts for a child in your area.
  • Habitat for Humanity works with community members and organizations to finance and build affordable housing for low-income families across the country. Habitat for Humanity needs volunteers to work on build sites or solicit monetary and material donations from the community.
  • Your local homeless shelter will need support this holiday season preparing and serving meals to those in need around your community. Nursing homes also look for an influx of volunteers around the holidays to visit with residents and bring extra holiday cheer to the facility.

The college experience is different for everyone. As an online student, you can achieve a meaningful college experience while earning your degree. To discover more volunteer opportunities available in your community, visit www.volunteermatch.org. This site matches your interests with a location to find the perfect volunteer opportunity for you. Little else will lift your holiday spirit more than helping someone in need.

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