The Values Of Volunteering I Oxford Open Learning
Volunteering

The Values Of Volunteering


If you’re learning from home, then perhaps you’re starting to get itchy feet. It’s understandable in these times to feel a need to get back out there and put some good into the world. Well, volunteering can be a great way to throw yourself into some new activities and experiences, and better yet, it can even help your home-based studying in various ways too!

Whether you want to aid others in need or you’re simply just very bored, there are plenty of organisations out there that need a helping hand right now. You have nothing to lose and plenty to gain!

So, here’s a quick list of ways volunteering can benefit your home learning.

Agency

A great deal of learning comes down to confidence, self-worth, and self-belief. Without those things, memorising facts and passing tests can soon seem impossible. If you’re on shaky ground here, it’s time to take back control and dismiss any self-doubt.

Sometimes it’s nice to have something of your own, and that’s where volunteering can come in. In helping others, you’re giving your life a nudge on your own terms and exploring a new opportunity or direction for yourself. That’s incredibly liberating, so don’t underestimate the power of making your own choices!

If you direct your attention elsewhere, even just briefly once a week, you can return to your home studies with a fresh perspective. You may even find yourself open to new career paths and opportunities you hadn’t considered before, which will do wonders for your motivation, and thus your grades, moving forward.

Volunteering Can Be A Useful Distraction

School work is in plenty of supply, whether you’re learning from home or in the classroom. It can feel overwhelming quite often, so finding a productive work/life balance can help you deal with all these pressures. After all, there’s more to life than study, and being too obsessive over your grades can damage your mental health and turn your mind into soup.

Volunteering can be a light but useful distraction, even if it’s just writing the odd blog post or washing dishes somewhere. It’s not the type of activity that matters, but that you’re filling your mind with stuff that’s not just tests and grades. It’s best to have a multitude of thoughts that aren’t all personal concerns or anxieties, so volunteering can help greatly here.

Taking some time away from something doesn’t mean you’re failing or giving up. A break is needed in every walk of life here and there, so be kind to yourself, and devote portions of your time to other things. A healthy mind is needed to study as best you can, and volunteering can help you nurture that.

Skills And Experiences

Volunteering can teach you things about yourself and others, and sometimes it can teach you all about things you never even knew existed. Transferable skills are also aplenty, even on the most subtle and minute levels. Moreover, if you’re ever feeling like school subjects are pointless, some volunteering opportunities can demonstrate exactly why you need the skills you’re taught in schools.

You could organise books at a local library, help clean community areas, or do some activism to raise money for those in need. Any of these ideas can improve your home learning, as you may find yourself more apt at things like organisation, time management, public speaking, mathematics, and more. It may not seem like much to begin with, but over time you’ll discover lots of moments when you can apply your education to your volunteering, and vice versa.

Using what you’ve learnt at home in real-world settings can be very fulfilling, so do consider some volunteering on that basis. When you can see that all the hard work pays off in one way or another, and that your learning helps others, you may feel more motivated to study to the best of your ability.

New People

As fun as group chats and text chains can be, you’d probably agree that it’s not quite the same as connecting with people in the real world. If you’re learning from home, chances are you’re missing that human connection. A healthy social life can have a positive influence over how well you study, so it’s important to address things here if you feel that’s best!

Of course, volunteering is a great way to meet new people. Fresh friendships can have a great impact across all areas of your life, and you’ll also have new and exciting stories for your current social groups too. In the end, the kind of social stimulation you can get from volunteering can lift your mood and give you some hope in these trickier times, which will affect how you approach your studies. Whilst direct face to face activities might not be entirely possible right now, it’s something to bear in mind in future.

It’s also quite easy to start giving evils to the world when you’re on a streak of hard times and bad luck. However, surrounding yourself with giving, kind people, whether virtually or in reality, might just be enough to lift your spirits and carry you forward.

Conclusion

Ultimately, while you might think you’re busy now, you’ll only get more strapped for time as you go through university and working life. In a way, you have more free time now than you’ll likely have moving forward, so it’s important to use it wisely! Volunteering is a worthy pursuit that will improve almost every facet of your life, including your studies. You can also do as much or as little as you like, so it won’t get in the way of more pressing matters. One hour a week is enough! Why not give it a try?

For more information on the many kinds of volunteering opportunities that are out there, click here.

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I'm a freelance copywriter with an undergraduate degree in English Literature. I've written for many different outlets, including but not limited to marketing agencies, graduate recruitment websites, and online training companies. I've even interviewed a few famous actors for student and arts blogs too! Covering a wide span of material has been incredibly rewarding, as I get to turn my experiences in the arts, education and careers into helpful advice. I sincerely hope you'll find something to your liking here!