Although I now write for SFU’s “Engage Volunteer Services Blog”, volunteering hasn’t always come natural to me. In fact, it took me a long time to start volunteering, regardless of its benefits.
Finally it dawned on me that maybe I’m not the only one whose excuses hinder me from volunteering. So drawing from personal experience, I’ve concocted several tips for combating the top 4 excuses why students don’t volunteer – hopefully you’ll find them useful!
1) “I don’t have the skills for the volunteer position.”
Symptom: You want to volunteer, but you’re afraid you might not have what it takes to fulfill the volunteer position.
Solution: Although it may be nerve-racking to volunteer – especially if you’ve never tried it before – the beauty is that there’s always room for mistakes. Interestingly enough, volunteering is an opportunity for you to gain the skills you need for your future career (or life in general) … so it’s totally natural for you to come in without prior experience at all!
Wise Words: “Do not fear risk. All exploration, all growth is calculated. Without challenge people cannot reach their higher selves. Only if we are willing to walk over the edge can we become winners.” – Unknown
2) “What if I end up hating the volunteer experience?”
Symptom: You want to volunteer, but you’re afraid of having a disastrous or negative experience doing it.
Solution: To be blunt, negative experiences are inescapable. They’re bound to happen to everyone. But positive experiences are also just as likely to happen. Even if negative experiences occur from your volunteer experience, it can always be transformed into something positive. By discovering what you don’t like, you get a step closer to realizing what you do like. So volunteer – you’ve got nothing to lose!
Wise Words: “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” – T.S. Elliot
3) “I’m too lazy to volunteer.”
Symptom: You want to volunteer, but you can’t get your butt off the couch to actually do it.
Solution: It’s tempting to sit around and watch back-to-back episodes of Jersey Shore, but when that guilty feeling keeps nagging at you, listen to your conscience. The solution to conquering laziness is to weigh the benefits of volunteering versus the momentary satisfaction of being lazy. In the long run, volunteering will help you build the skills and character needed for later success. When you come to realize this, you’ll find the motivation to volunteer.
Wise Words: “Laziness may appear attractive, but work gives satisfaction.” – Anne Frank
4) “I can’t find a volunteer opportunity that interests me.”
Symptom: You want to volunteer, but you can’t find an opportunity that excites you.
Solution: If you can’t find an opportunity that interests you, do something about it. Create one that does. The world needs your ideas, so dare to dream. Follow your passions that beg for release. If you can’t find a volunteer opportunity that interests you, this may be a sign that you need to start something new.
Wise Words: “Be the change you want to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi
YOUR INPUT! Got any more tips to combat these excuses? Need more advice? Feel free to comment & share your ideas!
By Celine Diaz