If you are a young person hesitating if volunteering is a good idea, I will assure you – it is! Volunteering in its definition is an action that you decide to take without being paid. There are different reasons why people decide to volunteer and different types of help that you can offer. If you are doing something in your free time, it would be the best to choose the topic that is important to you, in line with your values.
I was volunteering many times in my life, usually because I was interested in the area or activity of the particular organisation. And even if, at that moment, volunteering seemed like it didn’t make sense, really each of those experiences influenced on my life and also – on my future professional path.
First of all, I have always been interested in music and audio technology. Unfortunately, almost everywhere in the world, it’s quite a challenge to start working in this field. When I was studying, I did different types of volunteering connected to this field, like helping on music festivals or volunteering in students’ radio. Although none of this was paid, I was very happy to participate because I was just curious and had a desire to learn. And you know what? I learned! Each of those experiences gave me some kind of idea or very particular knowledge concerning music industry. A few years later, when I was graduating and looking for a job, I was pretty sure, that those volunteering experiences were one of the arguments to hire me.
I remember also a moment when I was amazed by the idea of going to European Solidarity Corps project. Before I came here, to Barcelona, I was a mentor of volunteers in Cracow. It was volunteering, but for me it was like going to another planet. I was so interested in meeting people from abroad, speaking English, getting to know new cultures. It was an amazing experience to volunteer like that. And you know what? The greatest memories, moments and friendships (or even romances) I had because of volunteering. And you know what? My English is not perfect, but I think the reason I can speak more or less fluently is volunteering! Also I think 70% of what I know about different cultures and people is not because of the school, but because of volunteering.
I don’t want to tell you that my story is extraordinary, actually – the opposite. If you ask anyone who did ESC project or any different type of volunteering activity – they will tell you the same. Volunteering is influencing on your whole life. And you never know which skills you will learn but for sure, you will use them in the future, even unconsciously. It may be about the language skills, presentation or public speaking, leadership, communication, technology. All depends on the activity. Volunteering is for everyone. You can choose something that you feel is for you, and just go for it! I can tell you one thing – for sure it’s worth it!