Teenagers are often encouraged to volunteer in high school for both admirable and self-serving reasons. In the end it doesn’t matter so much why you volunteer, but that you do (and do not do so begrudgingly). That being said, I do recommend exploring a variety of different types of volunteering and finding the one that “clicks.” Here are five reasons for why you should try volunteering with kids at least once to see if that’s the type of volunteering that clicks with you. Know that the reasons listed are for the most part self-serving, and should not be the only reason that you get involved. They should be seen as perks of volunteering.
1. You Get Job Experience
Let’s be honest and realistic here, most teenagers have limited options when it comes to jobs, most of which pay minimum wage. But there are two jobs out there that teenagers can realistically get that actually pay well. They are babysitting and tutoring. While both require other skills, one of the main skills needed is the ability to work with kids. I have been volunteering with children of all ages for years and have since been both a tutor and a babysitter and can say without a doubt that volunteering helped me so much with both. Having experience with children will also make you more desirable for employers who need someone that can deal with children.
2. It Will Help You Understand What Careers You May Want To Pursue
A lot of things go into jobs and careers. Some are more important than others. If you hate people, you probably won’t want to pursue a career in public relations. If you can’t say what 2+2 is, you probably don’t want to be an engineer and so on. Another thing that can really help you to eliminate jobs is whether or not you enjoy working with children. If after one hour with kids you are already going insane, you can fairly realistically rule out certain jobs. Same goes if you absolutely love working with children and don’t think you could have a job that doesn’t involve doing so. Personally, volunteering with kids taught me that I really want to pursue a job where I can work kids on a regular basis.
3. Kids Are AWESOME
I genuinely enjoy volunteering and do so with both kids and adults, but there is something so great about talking to and being with kids. For the most part they are always happy with a positive outlook on life. Going along with this, they are also ridiculously nice and friendly. Basically as it says above, kids are just awesome. You might not love being around them all the time, but a couple hours with kids can remind you just how great a positive attitude can be.
4. Kids Give You A New Perspective
Going off of my last point, kids can give you a new perspective. The new perspective doesn’t have to be about anything extremely profound, but it will still lead to you thinking about at least some little things in a different light. Their positivity can shine a new light on a lot of what may be going on in your teenage mind. Volunteering with kids has led to me developing different perspectives on everything from golf techniques to art.
5. You Might As Well Try (There’s Nothing to Lose)
The sort of unspoken thing with volunteering and applying to college is that you should because colleges like it. Volunteering can also lead to involvement in other extracurriculars, such as NHS. I am not an admissions counselor and have no idea how true this is, but no matter what, I am assuming it won’t hurt. Of course there are also the scholarships that love volunteering. So, if you are going to try volunteering anyway, you should try a type of volunteering that has lots of other perks and can really help affect others.
Now, hopefully, you’ll give volunteering with kids a shot. There’re simply too many perks to pass up!