Guest Author - Melissa Weise
So someone is *making* you do community service. That’s what they make prisoners and people who have committed a crime do. Yuck. What a punishment, right?
I know. I know. You are just about to stop reading this crazy article because why the heck would you want to work and not get anything for it. I mean, do people think your time so unimportant that people think you should waste it working and not getting paid? And I totally see your point. Doing community service work can seem like a waste of time. After all, you could be spending your time earning money at a part time job, doing your homework, or just getting some much-needed down time.
So that’s why you need to make your community service hours work for you. After all, why are you working so hard to get good grades in school and saving for college? Or, if you don’t plan to go to college, aren’t you thinking about what type of job you want to get when you graduate? Community service can help you with that.
First, community service is a great thing to put on your resume for a job or your application to college. Employers and admissions offices are looking for well-rounded and experienced young people to fill their ranks and love seeing that you worked as a volunteer at an animal shelter or read books to kids. That shows that you are compassionate, trustworthy, organized, and have something to offer. It also shows that you have passion for something (because why would you do it if you weren’t passionate about it?) and if you truly care about something, you are more likely to stay committed to it. So make sure to put every bit of your community service hours on your resume – in great detail! Show where you worked, what you did and how long you did it. It is also great to put down the name of the person who supervised you so that the admissions office or employer can call and verify that you are telling the truth.
Second, community service can give you experience and open doors that you didn’t know were there. Let’s say, for example, that you want to be a graphic designer and develop video games for a living. If you chose to spend your community service hours working at a food pantry, you would fulfill your basic requirements and probably help a few people, but it wouldn’t do much more for you. You might have that warm and fuzzy feeling for a while, but it would do nothing relevant to your life or your goals. On the other hand, let’s say that you volunteered to help tutor students on computer skills at your high school with your graphics design teacher. You would have a chance to do something you liked and even show off your skills to your graphics design teacher. He may think that you are really amazing and offer to write a letter of recommendation that helps you get into the graphics design college that you wanted to get into. Your teacher may even know someone at a software company and make a recommendation that you get an internship there which starts your fabulous career as a video game developer. All from picking the right place to do your community service.
Finally, community service can be fun! Not “woohoo-I-get-to-play-World-of-Warcraft-all-afternoon-and drink-Mountain-Dew” fun, but at least enjoyable. And it become enjoyable when you pick something that you are really interested in to do. Time passes much more quickly if you are doing something you like rather than something you dread – we all know that. And it applies to community service as well.