Summer can be intimidating for students. Yes, there is the relief of no exams or deadlines but there is also the worry of no financial support which can be gained by student finance installments. Many students turn to work, but this can be insecure and also leave with you blocks of time where you have little to keep you entertained, particularly if you are only in weekend or part time shift week. With this in mind, an ideal way of making your summer that bit more worthy, and edging ahead of your university friends is by partaking in volunteering. Volunteering is a plentiful market with many opportunities, and can be an excellent way of proving your drive, your reliability and your capability to gain skills.
You can volunteer your time in many ways, but the best way is to find where and what makes you most comfortable. You could work at a youth club, helping younger people with activities to keep them occupied and also enjoying themselves. This can be a great way of aiding community cohesion, as well as seeking to gain personal development skills. For example, you could build skills in areas such as teaching and social work. This could greatly benefit you if you are planning to apply for further study in these areas.
However, this isn’t the only way you volunteer. If you are politically engaged, or are passionate about a cause, why not look at involving yourself with a local group. UK political parties have plenty of opportunities to volunteer. All the main parties need door knockers, willing to show off their cause, which you could find yourself being part of. By doing this, you’ll build your name within the party and be able to network with likeminded people. Our very own Prime Minister, Theresa May, began her political career by stuffing envelopes as a means of volunteering for the Conservative Party. You could also look at getting causes, which can allow just as much in terms of networking. Pressure groups such as Electoral Reform Society and Amnesty International look for people to create local activist groups. This can help make you an invested part of the movement, which can make way for opportunities to work those organizations in the future!
If you are keen to gain skills in areas such as retail or communications, then why not look at taking time to dedicate a few hours per week to working with a mainstream high street charity. This could include helping to update their social media channels, doing call outs for items that are needed to fill shelves as well as assisting with retail work, selling items and supervising the shop floor for a charity.
Keep these things in mind as you embark on your summer, and be sure to make it worth it by doing something different!