Benefits of service after graduation

By Christine Graf
December 4, 2008

People go to college to get an education so that eventually they can get a good job which makes good money, to live a comfortable life, right?

So why would anyone in his or her right mind graduate from college and volunteer for a year or two unpaid?

How could that possibly benefit them in anyway? Is it even supposed to benefit them, or is giving back just the right thing to do?

These are all questions that have crossed my mind throughout my college experience.

Sometimes I think that living in an exotic country in solidarity would be an experience of a lifetime, but then I think realistically: can I afford to commit a year or so of my life with the expenses of college loans creeping up upon graduation? Will I even be marketable to employees once I decide to look for that dream job?

Graduating from college and committing yourself to others seems like a very nice thing to do but in reality, is it really a beneficial thing to do to?

Think about it. In times of economic uncertainty, finding a job upon graduation is not going to be an easy task. Especially when going up against all the other top-notch graduates from other schools in the Philadelphia area.

What makes you different? Why would an employer pick you over Joe Schmo from the University of Pennsylvania?

Could your year of service in Guatemala helping troubled teens learn leadership skills be that difference that makes you stand out?

Think about what kind of character that shows in you as a person. Imagine the leadership, language and independence that you could acquire.

Most notably, think about the lives you would change, the people you would meet and all you would learn.

My point is service after graduation is not only something to do for the common good of society but it might just be what is best for you to grow as a person.

There are numerous types of organizations that offer loan deferrals, grants, health care benefits and an opportunity to do things you never thought possible.

You can volunteer domestically in a different part of the country, internationally, for a faith-based organization, a no-faith-based organization a government-run program or doing all sorts of service jobs.

The opportunities are endless although not always so easy to decide which one is best for you. So if a year of service after graduation ever crossed your mind, look into it.

Offices on campus can help you such as the Wolfington Center or Cabrini Mission Corps, which will be holding a discussion this Sunday, Dec. 7, at 2:30 p.m. in the Mansion. There will be former and current volunteers talking about the benefits of service and answering any questions one might have.

Again, it doesn’t hurt to investigate; it might be the best thing you ever did.

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Christine Graf

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