I think that it’s easy for college students and professionals to lose their sense of community involvement when they are entrenched in the day-to-day grind of getting by and advancing in their career.
Working, Learning, Sleeping: Is There Extra Time?
I used to volunteer in schools, camps and shelters on a regular basis in middle and high school, when I had consistent time to devote to it. Now my work schedule is so erratic, (and I need so many hours to afford rent and school,) that I don’t do anything for the community on a regular basis. I wake up, go to class, go to work, go to sleep. On days off I have a list of things I should have done last week to do, and a family and group of friends lamenting my restrictive schedule and demanding to see me. Basically, I’m always expected to be somewhere unless I’m sleeping. So how do I make time to help anyone else when I’m struggling to keep my own life together?
Thinking About Volunteering As Flexible
What I’m going to try to focus on is the fact that I don’t have to have a consistent schedule to help someone. I don’t have to volunteer every Wednesday at noon if my work schedule might not allow it. I don’t have to sacrifice making the money I need or doing my schoolwork to help in the community. I should just do what I can, when I can. And that’s certainly better (for the community and for me) than doing nothing at all.
Questions for Readers
To all of you busy, overworked and underpaid people out there: do you ever feel this way? How do you keep it all in balance? And what are your go-to ways of being involved if your involvement must be sporadic?