If you are a high schooler like myself, especially a high school senior, then you are familiar with the stress and pressure of filling out your college applications. Applying to college can be daunting, and many students find themselves worrying about their GPAs and job experience, wondering if what they have accomplished over the past four years is enough to impress the colleges they seek to enroll in. Writing an application is a way of building a reputation or image of yourself for a college, and while many students are worried about quantifiable aspects of their transcripts, like grades, there is another part of the application that students overlook: service. Community service is a critical activity to add to your college application for a variety of reasons.
1. Volunteering for community service creates a drive to action and a propensity for leadership. Students who show an extensive interest in service opportunities prove to colleges that they are capable of being a leader within their community. They show that they are able to be hardworking team players who can make an impact in a real-world situation.
2. Volunteering for community service helps a student learn to work outside of their school environment. Sometimes, students are more comfortable searching for opportunities within the confines of their school. However, volunteering outside of school shows colleges that students aren’t afraid of tackling unfamiliar tasks and managing new environments.
3. Volunteering for community service builds a selfless passion for others. This is the most obvious benefit of volunteering. Colleges can see when a student has applied themselves to a volunteer opportunity because they are really passionate about the cause, and they will appreciate that a student is showing initiative and working to pursue these interests.
In summary, volunteering works to create a better you. Community service is a great character builder, which is why so many colleges urge their applicants to find a volunteer opportunity that they are really passionate about. For high schoolers looking for ways to serve their community, there are many nonprofits that Triangle Cares partners with that provide service opportunities for students. Check out our website for more information about these organizations and how you can get involved. Remember: sometimes quantity is not the most important thing to consider with your college application. It’s the quality of your experiences that is truly valuable.