Community service is one third of the ideal trifecta for every college-applicant’s resume. Academics, extra-curricular school activities/sports, and community service are the typical triple headers we are encouraged to fill in on our applications. As a staff, almost all of us were committed to regular community service in high school, but all agree that we are involved way less in community service now that we are in college. Throughout our college careers we have stopped trying to be as well-rounded and started sharpening our personal skills for the workplace instead.
But even though it feels like all of the pressure for community service hours is off, our motivation as college students to serve our communities hasn’t died.
Students involved in greek life on campus are a great example of students making time for community service. According to fraternity and sorority reports and statistics, last semester UTC fraternities and sororities completed a total of 13,490 hours of community service and donated $61,059 to local and national organizations. This is an average of 9 hours of community service and $42 donated per member for the Spring 2017 semester. The rest of the statistics for community service and philanthropic donations can be found here.
Some of the campus’ greek organizations require community service hours, but students on the Echo staff that are also involved in greek life agree that the requirement isn’t a cap; it motivates them to continue to serve beyond their minimum hours and gives them access to ways they can start helping their communities.
As for the rest of us, low on both money and time, we feel like we do a lot of volunteering our time to begin with- we intern, we work for free, we tutor each other, and sometimes our coursework benefits others. We do lots of work without pay and volunteer our time while at school. College is a time that gears students to be a little bit selfish- we are responsible for ourselves and we are spending a lot of money and years of our time to benefit our own careers.
We take a lot on our plates to begin with, and the Echo staff agrees that we all wish we had more time and a set schedule so we could volunteer more. We collectively hope to do more community service once we are done with school.
We hope that being done with school and working in the “real world” will integrate us more into our communities and make us more aware of opportunities for us to fill a need. As students, we really appreciate the opportunities at UTC that exist for community service. Many academic, religious and cultural organizations on campus offer ways for us to get involved, making volunteering easy, fun and even social. We all feel motivated to continue to seek out ways we can help while we are here, and especially when we are done with school- when even if we don’t have more time, we (hopefully) will have more money to help others with.