The importance of volunteerism
As one of the leading universities in the country, USC should make volunteerism a requirement for graduation and aim to focus its resources on promoting volunteerism on campus if it wants its students to have a greater impact on the world.
College is the time to explore your interests and to try different things that you may have never considered before. The number of opportunities that are opened to us once we step onto these grounds are endless. Among them are volunteering opportunities that take place in locations ranging from just a couple blocks from campus to thousands of miles away in third-world countries.
Students are more concerned about studying, socializing and worrying about their future careers instead of giving back to communities at home and abroad. Society plays a role in promoting this success-driven mentality, but the USC community is to blame as well.
The trustees have the most influence in the direction and focus of the students. Requiring students to complete a minimum number of hours volunteering and giving back to a community would decentralize our one-directional minds, at least for those few hours, benefitting both ourselves and surrounding communities.
It is true that time that is spent volunteering can be spent studying, drafting resumes and cover letters, applying for internships and jobs or socializing and having fun; after all, we only have this kind of freedom for what seems like a millisecond before we’re tossed into the great unknown of responsibilities and nine-to-five jobs.
However, volunteering can be a great bonding experience for us and an easy way to meet others from different social and academic backgrounds within the USC community.
Furthermore, students could make connections with community leaders in public service and with other volunteers that may help them later in their careers or life. Volunteering also allows us to try out new careers without making long-term commitments and it allows us to gain experience in a new field. The benefits will eventually surface in the least likely of places. Volunteering allows us to work in groups, learn from one another and exercise our creativity throughout the entire process.
Whether it is helping raise money for a special cause or tutoring students in the neighboring communities, volunteering can help us build skills that will be helpful for our future careers. It’s not a completely far-fetched idea for USC to make volunteerism a requirement for graduation after realizing the benefits, both for us and society.