Student Volunteering Week: five wellbeing tips for student volunteers
Laura MacKinnon, one of our student volunteers at Humankind, gives five tips for students who currently volunteer, or might be interested in pursuing volunteering, alongside their studies. Her advice focuses on one of the three themes of Student Volunteering Week: wellbeing.
Calling all students! If you’re currently navigating the workload that comes with university life while also volunteering, this blog post for Student Volunteering Week is centred around balancing both and prioritising your wellbeing. As a current final year student volunteer, I’ve outlined my best tips for getting that balance right.
I find it really helpful to use a calendar app to plan out when I’ll be attending university classes, studying, and completing volunteering to ensure I have time for both.
I discovered at the end of last year that it’s totally fine to take breaks. I was feeling a little overwhelmed by my university schedule and talked to my supervisor about it. They really helped by giving me the time I needed. You should never feel guilty about prioritising your mental health!
Make volunteering work
Connecting what you’re learning in class with your volunteer experiences and using volunteering to support your studies is a great way to enrich your learning and reduce the workload.
Gain the experience you need
Volunteering can help develop your CV and provide the skills you need when you’re looking for a job after university. You should always feel that you can talk to your supervisor about the skills you would like to develop and include on your CV. This way, volunteering and studying can both support your future.
Remember that balancing student life with volunteering is not always easy. Always remind yourself that you are entitled to breaks, deserve to have fun, get enough sleep, and are just generally allowed to take time for yourself outside of university and volunteering work. Although university workload can feel heavy, I like to always try and give myself two days off a week to rest as we all need time to recharge.
I hope these tips act as a helpful reminder that being a student volunteer is all about balance and that your wellbeing should always take priority. Make sure you have a look at an organisation’s wellbeing offer before you decide to start volunteering there.
Here’s to all the student volunteers at Humankind for contributing their time and navigating the world volunteering and studying!