If you’re wondering to yourself, Where Should I Volunteer? You’re in luck—we’ve created a quiz to help you decide!
Take the quiz below and then read on to learn how to choose where to volunteer your time.
Table of Contents
- Do You Want to Work with People?
- Are You Passionate about a Cause?
- What Are Your Strengths?
- Where Do You Like to Spend Time?
- Final Word
Do You Want to Work with People?
One of the biggest factors to consider when weighing different volunteer opportunities is whether you would like to spend your time chatting with people or not. If your preference is to minimize your human interactions in any given day, then find a volunteer opportunity where you can work alone, such as sorting books at the library or walking dogs at your local animal shelter.
On the other hand, if you wake up every day ready to chat, then share your social skills at a hospital or school. You probably won’t be happy sorting through mail in a backroom in an office.
Whether you prefer the company of people or dogs is totally fine—no judgment here! The most important thing is to be true to yourself and choose the volunteer opportunity where you’ll be most comfortable, and therefore, most effective.
Are You Passionate about a Cause?
The next big consideration is whether you are passionate about a particular cause. Do you get outraged when someone throws something in the trash that could have been composted? Do you have a history of rescuing baby birds? Pay attention to these strong feelings and past actions.
If you have such passionate feelings about a specific issue, find organizations that are working on those important matters. Then, find out how you can help support the cause. The most effective volunteers are those who truly care about their work and are dedicated to the cause. So, follow your heart to find your best volunteer opportunity!
If you don’t have a particular passion at the moment, don’t despair. There are loads of other ways to find a volunteer opportunity that’s meant for you, such as volunteering in a field where you might want to have a career someday.
Another great way to discover the perfect volunteer opportunity for you is to contemplate what you’re good at doing. So, let’s talk a little bit about strengths.
What Are Your Strengths?
Another great way to decide where you should volunteer is to make a list of your strengths. By reviewing what you excel at, you can decide where best to share your talents. Think back on past jobs or internships and write down what you did well and what you enjoyed. Did you love chatting up strangers at the receptionist desk? Did you find it thrilling to help fellow students in class when they struggled?
Your reflections will help guide you to decide where you can share your unique strengths and qualities. If people often tell you that you’re good at explaining things, consider teaching or tutoring with a local nonprofit. Alternately, if you find that you love cheering people up who are feeling down, consider volunteering at a hospital or nursing home.
No matter what your strengths are there is a place in need of them. So, get out there and start sharing your unique skills!
Where Do You Like to Spend Time?
One final deliberation is to think about where you choose to spend your free time. If you often find yourself at the art museum or library, these places might be the perfect place to share your talents. Alternately, if the thought of a museum immediately makes you sleepy, set your sights elsewhere—maybe coaching youth soccer is a better match for you!
Another option, especially if you love to spend time outdoors, is to volunteer at a local or national park. You can give back by helping to repair trails or greeting folks as they enter the park. It’s a great way to get some sun, see some wildlife, and give back all at the same time.
Volunteering is a chance for you to give back to the community and strengthen your college application. Finding the right volunteer opportunity requires the consideration of many factors. You’ll need to think about your strengths, the places you prefer to spend time, and the why behind your volunteering, such as getting into your dream school. Once you’ve determined your passions and strengths, and where you enjoy spending time, you’ll be able to choose the place to volunteer that’s a perfect fit for you!
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About Allyson Evans
Allyson earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and her JD from the University of Texas at Austin. She has been teaching and tutoring the LSAT since 2007, and loves helping students achieve their goals. She currently practices law in Austin, Texas. When she’s not helping students conquer the LSAT, she enjoys traveling, camping, and listening to live music.
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