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Feeling Down, Volunteer!

High school and college can be incredibly time-consuming and stressful experiences. Between class, midterms, sports, and various after school activities, who has time to add volunteering to that list, right? Think again!
Studies have shown that serving others can not only improve your mood, but can give you the satisfaction of being a valuable and important member of your community, too.

It's so easy to get bogged down in work and to start feeling as if your life is one huge perpetual cycle - wake up, go to school, go to activity A, B, and, C, do homework, go to sleep, repeat. With colleges and the job market becoming increasingly more competitive, our generation continues to put more and more onto our plates. In fact, we take on so many activities and responsibilities that we can forget to take time to ourselves. Even more so, many of us are so accustomed to being busy that we find it nearly impossible to sit still long enough to do some leisure reading, take a nap, or mindlessly watch our favorite television show. If you find yourself in this situation, volunteering may be the perfect outlet for your stress!

Personally, my favorite way to volunteer and have fun at the same time is through being a Girl Scout troop leader. I spend a couple hours a week preparing lesson plans, conducting meetings, and attending fun events with the girls in my troop. I look forward to our troop meetings every other Friday night because, even though it's another few hours a week that I spend away from my studies, I don't feel guilty or lazy afterwards (like I would if I had spent my Friday nights watching Netflix).

Your campus or community is sure to have a plethora of service opportunities at your disposal! Joining Habitat for Humanity or Rotaract clubs are a great way to get involved if you're looking for low-impact, leisurely service. If you're looking for a more intensive volunteer experience, consider joining your school's chapter of Alpha Phi Omega (a co-ed Greek-lettered organization dedicated to philanthropy). No matter what you choose to dedicate yourself to, a weekly, long-term volunteer commitment is a great way to get in your "me time" while serving others at the same time!