10 life lessons I learned from volunteering

Since my childhood, I have been interested in volunteering for the causes that I cared about. When I heard about the possibility of donating the summer to a non-profit organization, I jumped at the chance. Little did I know that this one decision would change my life.

While working as a volunteer, I learned these ten life lessons that might help you figure out your next career move.

Here are the 10 life lessons I learned from volunteering:

learning by volunteering
1) YOU WILL MEET SOME WONDERFUL PEOPLE TO HAVE CONVERSATIONS WITH

While volunteering at the field of a non-profit organization, I met many interesting people like Kyle, my mentor and Edith, a very generous woman. I was able to speak with people from different walks of life and have interesting conversations about the problems that troubled them.

Sometimes, while volunteering, you will have opportunities to meet people who have interesting skills that allow you to gain knowledge and job experience. I had a conversation with a lawyer who was giving me advice on where to file a claim when my car was damaged.

I think that being a volunteer could help you meet unexpected people who could change your life if they are in the right place at the right time. You never know what can happen when volunteering.

2) YOU WILL LEARN HOW TO CONNECT WITH PEOPLE

When I volunteered, I had no idea how much it would change my perception of the world and my own social skills. It is amazing how easy it is to connect with other humans when you are in the same space.

In order to understand people, you need to put yourself in their shoes and feel what they feel. When volunteering, I learned how important it is to connect with other people especially when you are in a place that is not your home.

For example, I was able to help a man named Matthew with his visa problem. As a volunteer that was helping him, I had a moment of compassion to think of what he is going through. Shortly after that, we got into talking about his problems and the struggles he was having at the time. He shared about his secret struggle with depression – a long-lasting low mood disorder – and I offered help and support because that is all I could do for him during our conversation.

3) YOU WILL LEARN A LOT FROM YOUR TEAMMATES

For example, I have learned that I have a knack for volunteering. I can tell my teammates the best places to go or what I should do first when we are in a new destination. No matter how much schooling you have, you will also learn from your teammates.

Moreover, working in a team has taught me about the importance of teamwork in the workplace. When I worked in a team, I saw different parts of my personality that I never knew existed. For example, I knew that I was capable of helping others but did not know how much it would help me when working with a team.

The most important thing that you will learn from your teammates is how to be there for someone when they are down. Sometimes they will need help and you can be there to lend a hand because you might become their savior or their shoulder to lean on.

4) YOU WILL MAKE SOME NEW FRIENDS

It is equally important to make good friends while volunteering, because at the end of the day, it is better to be with people who care about the same issues than alone. Connecting with the people who were affected by homelessness and hunger has strengthened our friendship and made us closer as a crew.

This has been a great way of making friends with people who have been through hard times. It is important to have friends who support and love you for who you are, no matter what your flaws are.

5) YOU WILL SEE THE WORLD FROM A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE

Before volunteering, I was not keen on thinking about what other people go through and how I can help them. But when I volunteered, I was able to understand the world in a deeper level. Not only did I volunteer for the environment but for all the individuals who helped me out and taught me about all the issues around homelessness, hunger and mental health.

Once I started volunteering, I learned how important everyone is to one another. It had a profound effect on my life. For example, I had a chance to visit the prisons that are in my city and learn about the problems behind all of the issues that some people go through.

And I believe that it can do the same for others who want to do something for other people’s causes.

6) YOU WILL BE COMMITTED TO HELP SOMEONE WHO NEEDS YOUR HELP

Volunteering has a very strong effect on the people and the communities that are affected by the issue you are working on. In my case, I have been committed to helping Somalis with their immigration problems and their asylum applications. This cause deeply means something to me, because I feel like we are all from God and he created us equal, no matter what our race or religion is.

In addition to this, I have also been deeply engaged in helping others who has mental illness and are struggling with their balance. I have learned that it is important to give the people who need you the attention that they need.

7) YOU WILL GET A CHANCE TO GO PLACES YOU WOULD NEVER IMAGINE GOING

While volunteering, I was able to go places that I never thought I would go in my life. I went to the city jail and saw how they house people detained waiting for their trials.

Moreover, I was also able to visit the house of a woman named Edith, who spoke very highly of me as she had met me while giving donations for her organization, working for homeless people.

Likewise, my experience of volunteering for the environment helped me see how other countries are trying to preserve their natural resources. I was also able to go on a field trip with my school and visit University of California (UC) Berkeley, one of the well-known universities in the United States.

8) YOU WILL LEARN HOW TO DEAL WITH STRESS

Volunteering has taught me that it is important to deal with stress in a more effective way. I could have learned this while volunteering, but I am glad that it came at a very crucial time in my life. Volunteering has taught me how to deal with colleagues and people who mean a lot to me. It also helps me understand that if you give love, you will receive love in return and vice versa.

It’s the most significant achievement for me because I had begun to feel significant negative impacts of stress in my life then. I was not in the best shape of my life, but now I am on a much better path because I learned to cope with it in a positive way.

9) YOU WILL GET A CHANCE TO MAKE ALL YOUR DREAMS COME TRUE

I believe that dreams come true because of the people in our lives and the time we spend with them. In my case, I had a dream of going to university and my first goal was to go to university in the US.

When I felt like I wouldn’t succeed, my teachers and friends motivated me so much for me to go for it, because they saw potential in me. And now, it’s my turn to motivate others who want to achieve their goals or who need some motivation in their life or career.

And in my opinion, it’s not just about the career. It is important to keep working on your dreams, even if they do not seem to be coming true. I believe that you first of all have to be a dreamer in order to make any progress in life.

10) YOU WILL HAVE A SUPPORT SYSTEM THAT YOU CAN COUNT ON

It is very difficult to achieve your goals when you feel like no one believes in you or when there is always something pulling you down. In my case, I had a team of friends who believed in me and never gave up on me. They are there for me every time I need help because I was having trouble with the issues at home or school life.

In other words, volunteering generates mutual help that you will have never had in your life. I know that it’s not easy to have someone who will always be behind you, but if you can find someone who can support and believe in you, the sky’s the limit.

You will not regret your decision to volunteer

Receiving a lot of feedback on what/how you are doing, having a clear idea of your goals and struggling for the betterment additional benefits that transformed me from an isolated, self-centered individual to an energetic, sociable fellow within a short span of time.

Volunteering has changed me as a person and has impacted my life in the most profound way. It is a very important part of someone’s life because it changes the way you look at things and how you contribute to society. Everyone should have this commendable opportunity to volunteer, because it provides people not only with great joy by making their community a better place, but also a platform to learn life lessons, which otherwise are nearly unachievable.

For an opportunity to volunteer, you, however, need to find the right opportunity and area of interest. Keep in mind that one volunteer opportunity would not fit all, so you have to be very selective when it comes to volunteering.

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