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Monday, November 3, 2014

Volunteering In Undergrad

Volunteering and extracurricular activities tend to be very important in high school. Often times it can be stressful and hard to balance. I’ve found that the key is finding volunteering opportunities that you’re actually interested in and can be passionate about, so it no longer feels like something you have to do. Furthermore, it’s better to take on less opportunities that you can better commit to than volunteering everywhere and stretching yourself thin.

So what are some opportunities to volunteer during your undergraduate degree? If you’re thinking about medicine, volunteering at a hospital can be really cool. With the right program, you can get some amazing experience. In high school, I was able to watch a C-section and other surgeries within the OGBYN unit. In college, I volunteered at Henry Ford hospital and made rounds, seeing units ranging from nephrology (kidneys) to postnatal care (after the baby is born). The great thing about Wayne State being in the heart of Detroit is that there are so many opportunities – Henry Ford, the DMC, Karmanos, Children’s hospital, etc. – you just have to find the one right for you!

Another opportunity I found was volunteering at a Senior home, specifically with hospice patients. This experience has been unexpectedly rewarding and honestly, completely life changing. Every time I stop by I leave feeling reenergized and connected back to the big picture. It helps me stop and realize the important things, and has helped me grow as an individual in ways I was not expecting. While many may think that this kind of work might be depressing, it’s truly not. Seeing the patients’ faces light up when I walk in, and they tend to be so talkative and hilarious.

Finding volunteering that is rewarding will remind you of the essence of volunteering, and help you understand how to be better in your future career, whatever it is that you may choose.

- Mentor Maisha