I have always wondered why people constantly complain about their community service requirements. As a resident of Turrell Manor, I would ask friends who were sick of living on campus why they would not try moving into Turrell. The answer nine times out of 10 would be because they did not want to complete the 20-hour service requirement each semester.
Of course, most college students are extremely busy and those 20 hours can seem a little daunting, but trust me, it can be done. Currently, not only am I taking 18 credits but I am also actively involved on campus and work part-time. However, I still find time to volunteer and I believe that volunteering can fit into anyone's schedule as long as they truly allow room for it.
As someone who finished her community service requirement in just about a month, I could never understand the huge deterrence. I have spent the majority of my Saturdays at Seton Hall, since November of my freshman year, at the Jersey Animal Coalition. As a senior now, I know when I graduate I will look back at my four years and recognize that the animal shelter has been an integral part of my college career. Volunteering there has also helped me grow as a person.
Each week I receive unconditional love from my four-legged friends. I also feel pure relaxation in the midst of my busy school schedule by volunteering.
At the end of my freshman year, there was no part of me that thought I would stop frequenting the animal shelter, despite not being required to complete service hours the next year. I am someone who grew up in a house comparable to a zoo, currently with five cats and a dog, so a no-kill shelter is somewhere that really warms my heart and gives me a sense of home. I even adopted my current dog, Benjamin, from this shelter.
Obviously as an animal lover, I would get attached to some of these dogs, but this made me work harder to get them adopted into loving families. When I see those smiling faces from families as they drive away to their now shared home with their new pet, a feeling of satisfaction fills my heart.
The next time you are required to volunteer, look into all the different places you can help out. Even though your schedule may seem hectic at first, by just finding just an hour a week that you are available, you can make a huge difference. Remember, although volunteering is about helping others, it can help you just as much. Volunteering is truly rewarding.
Stephanie Vedral is a sports management major from Yonkers, NY. She can be reached at email@example.com.