In a time where connection is seemingly only built through phone screens and Instagram comments, in-person, face-to-face connection between students is dwindling. Lack of social interaction and seeing past immediate needs and wants can leave individuals feeling isolated and alone. Unsurprisingly, students can be left lacking a sense of belonging.
How do I fit in? What do I have to offer? Where is my place in this world or in this community?
Today’s world focuses on immediate satisfaction. But stepping outside of their day-to-day habits and desires, allows students to gain perspective on their own lives and connect with others. Becoming an active member of their community fosters of sense of belonging.
By being involved in their local or even greater community, individuals can connect with others who share similar interests and values. This shared sense of purpose can help foster a sense of belonging and connection with others. Students discover talents they didn’t know they had and perfect their skills. They better understand what makes them unique, how they can contribute, and see not only how they can make a difference, but that their unique assets and gifts are needed in their community.
Sense of purpose
Volunteering can give students a sense of purpose and fulfillment by allowing them to make a positive impact in their community. When they feel like they are contributing to a cause or helping others, it can boost their mood and overall well-being.
Additionally, volunteering often involves structured activities that provide a sense of routine and stability. This can be especially helpful for students who are struggling with feelings of loneliness, as it can give them a sense of purpose and direction.
Service often involves working towards a common goal or cause. This shared goal can create a sense of camaraderie and belonging among students who are working towards the same objective. By working together towards a greater purpose, individuals can feel like they are making a meaningful contribution to their community, which can boost their sense of self-worth and belonging. Volunteering provides students with the opportunity to connect with others who share similar interests and values. This can lead to the formation of new friendships and a sense of belonging, which can help combat feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Connection and Empathy
Furthermore, community service can also expose individuals to diverse perspectives and experiences, allowing them to develop a greater sense of empathy and understanding toward others. This increased understanding and empathy can help individuals feel more connected to the community and the people within it. It might also reveal things about themselves they didn’t know allowing them to be more self-aware individuals.
Service is a powerful tool for finding belonging among students by providing them with opportunities to connect with others, engage in meaningful activities, and gain a sense of purpose and fulfillment. At no surprise, these are things that are lacking in a post-pandemic world.
Educators are more desperate than ever to build students up, encourage them, and foster personal growth through their students and extracurriculars. Volunteerism and becoming active members of the community does just that.
How to Support Student Growth
Whether your school’s service program is required, encouraged, done through clubs, run through the counseling office, or managed through a theology and social studies class, x2VOL is here to support student growth.
With an online platform that manages student service in one location, students can find volunteer opportunities, keep track of their hours, AND most importantly, write reflections on their experiences to gain an understanding of its deeper impact.
Learn more about x2VOL: