In Leadership, Friendship, and Service: Why You should join a Service Organization during College

Adrienne is a recent graduate of West Virginia University.  She specializes in counseling and communication studies with an emphasis in health, communication technology, and social media.  She enjoys playing volleyball on her recreation team and playing piano to relax.  Adrienne has traveled to many states, couple countries, and aspires to travel more throughout her life.  She has an interest for games, television shows, and music.  Adrienne hopes to someday be a Youtube personality, have lots of dogs, and be as fierce as Beyoncé. She writes about many topics including dating, food and wine, entertainment, and college life.  

From the minute you begin your experience at college, the focus is on YOU as the individual. What are YOU majoring in? Who have YOU met on campus? What have YOU done for recreation in college? Who are YOU Dating? The biggest question that is on a lot of minds is what are YOU going to do with your life? These questions are all questions that pertain to the individual going through the college experience.  They are scary questions that most students do not have an answer to.  Many are more focused on what they are going to do that weekend or evening versus what they will do for a lifetime.  Making a career decision is one of the toughest decisions to go through during college years.  It is intimidating and somewhat permanent.  A career decision can change the entire course of a student’s life and is either a helpful decision or sometimes a poor one.  A question that a college student is not normally asked is one that usually helps the student make the career decision that is so difficult to make. It is one that pertains to society and the whole versus the individual.  This question begs the individual to think more deeply into him or herself and realize how their actions are impacting others.   The question asks whether the actions of the individual are bringing good or ill will to the overall community.  This question is; how will you serve your community?

In my experience it was not until I took the time to serve my community that I was able to more specifically decide what it was I wanted to do as a career.  Community service created opportunities through internships and volunteer experience that I would have otherwise not experienced. Much of the opportunities that I was given were unpaid financially and were tough opportunities. However, they were enriching for both my community and myself as I saw my actions bringing goodwill to those around me.  I was able to join the national service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega on my campus, but there are many others students have the opportunity to join.  Being a brother in Alpha Phi Omega gave me experience in public relations as I was given the responsibility of planning service activities, it gave me public health experience as I served individuals suffering form disease and disorders, and it gave me experience in communication as I spoke publicly about the benefits of Alpha Phi Omega on campus. These are ways I benefitted from being a member of a service organization. Below are five ways you can benefit from joining a service organization:

1. Gain experience in your field of interest through volunteer. Volunteering allows students to get experience without a degree and decide if they are truly interested in the field.

2. Learn about the community you are living in. Many students do not know the community that their college campus is located in.

3. Meet other students and create lasting friendships. Most of your best friends share your same interests and those interests can be shared through the mutual interest of helping others.

4. Increase network and create connections. Networking is a huge part of success in a career and life overall.  When students are involved in organizations on campus they are able to meet adults and advisors who can help students find their career path and make more important life connections.

5. Strengthen your resume and career profile.  Service and volunteer are portions of a resume that employers are excited to see in an individual.  It shows involvement and experience.  It also shows skill development that employers are looking for when they are interested in hiring an individual.

Growing your experience in college by joining service organizations such as Alpha Phi Omega and other organizations are beneficial to the overall college experience.  I encourage each student to join one to further their professional experience and meet people they could have lasting relationships with.  They will feel very fulfilled by the experiences they have through service.


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