Episode 78: Service, Outdoors

Episode 78: Service, Outdoors

Date of Publication/发布日期
May 6, 2022
Curtis Westbay
Files & media
Volume 2 2021-2022
As the weather warms up and we approach the summer holiday, students have the opportunity to spend more time outdoors. Here are a few suggestions about community service and the ways that students can volunteer outdoors in the nice weather.

Keys to effective community service:

  • Volunteer for at least 25 hours each year. Consistency is key. Community service will have a better impact on the activity list when it is a regular activity, not one that happens all at once.
    • Every student should do some form of community service! It’s not just good to help others, it’s good for the college application. For example, among admitted students to the University of Chicago’s Class of 2025, 81% were involved in service activities in high school, the most common type of extracurricular activity for accepted students.
  • Do something you enjoy. There is no one “best” type of community service. The best type of community service is something that you put your heart into.
    • If you like animals, volunteer at an animal shelter. If you like learning, help others learn. If you care about climate change, volunteer in environmental protection and conservation.
  • Make an impact. If you volunteer in support of someone or something that really relies on you, you make the biggest impact.
    • Address a true need. Make a mark on something that wouldn’t be the same without your help. Directing traffic in a big city might be service, but it’s not impactful. On the other hand, for example, teaching a student computer skills over the summer when they don’t have a regular technology teacher may change the student’s life forever.
  • Connect service to another interest, preferably an academic interest.
    • By bringing your interests to your service, you reinforce the academic narrative that runs through your application. This isn’t suitable for everyone (I majored in Latin, so it might be contrived to find a direct way to bring Classical studies to service), but it is a good choice for many students.
Confused about how to connect your interests to your volunteerism? Fear not! Personalization of service will be the topic for next week’s blog post.