“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” – Mahatma Gandhi
I’ve been sitting here for at least ten minutes trying to figure out an opening line that conveys my anxiety about graduating soon. However, that obviously made me concentrate more on said anxiety and my brain could do nothing but freak out. The point is, I’m freaking out. May is quickly approaching so I’ve been spending my last semester scrambling for internships, wrapping up my courses, fixing up my resume, and working my LinkedIn profile like it’s my day job. It’s been incredibly hectic. To those of you breezing through your last semester, congrats on earning my envy.
Through all of this anxiety and excitement though, I have basically been experiencing a quarter life crisis (yes, that’s a thing). It’s the stereotypical “what’s the meaning of my life” situation that happens to quite a few people in their 20s, especially those entering the real real world for the first time. And all it has made me want to do is volunteer.
I was the type that wanted to take a gap year after high school to travel or do some sort of volunteer work, but my parents weren’t too fond of the idea. Still, I went on strongly feeling like it was something I need to do at some point in my life. Well, I strongly believe that this is a point in my life where I could potentially try to knock this off my bucket list.
I spent a few hours over the break trying to find the perfect volunteer opportunity for me. It’s no surprise that social media helped me figure out a few options that I’ve already fallen in love with.
Fun fact about me: I’m pretty obsessed with elephants. I could write a whole blog post about them alone, but I’ll spare you from that fun time. Searching through Twitter, Facebook, and online reviews I found an organization that send volunteers to an elephant camp in Thailand! THAILAND! ELEPHANTS! THIS IS AMAZING!
But anyways, back to social media. Obviously going on one of these trips involves a great investment, and I of course want to be safe. Reviews online from various social media platforms and websites are crucial while deciding to volunteer either in this country or abroad.
Social media is important not only when deciding where to go and what organization to join, but also how to portray your social media experience online. Unearth The World, another volunteer organization, mentioned that posting about your experience is so much more than simply changing your Facebook profile to a picture of yourself half-hugging some children. Post about what you’re doing and inform others about how to get involved. They also mention to ask the organization for consent on posting or sharing images of themselves or the people and wildlife you are helping.
And for those of you who want to help but don’t have the funds, one word: crowdfunding. My Facebook timeline is always popping up with GoFundMe links and requests. If its for such a good cause, which volunteering is, then don’t be afraid to post one! You’ll be surprised how many people will help. We all have way too many Facebook friends than we probably should, so just imagine how much you could raise if they all donated a couple of dollars or so. Social media is a great tool to get the help you need.