Many students decide to go to university because they want to make a difference in the world, and gaining an education will open up new opportunities. However, if your graduation is still a ways off, you may feel like it’s too long to wait. The good news is there are several things you can do while you’re still a student.
1. Find Opportunities to Volunteer
The easiest way to make a difference is to volunteer. There are numerous opportunities for university students, including through campus organizations and places in your community, such as soup kitchens, hospices, local schools, and animal shelters. If there’s nothing available that matches your interests or your goals for the future, you could even start your own initiative.
2. Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Before making a purchase, think about whether you could go without or if an alternative would be better for the environment. For example, you could buy cloth instead of paper napkins to produce less waste. Other ways to reduce your carbon footprint include switching to reusable shopping bags, eating less meat, and carrying a water bottle with you to avoid needing to purchase beverages.
3. Raise Awareness About a Social Issue
You’ll make a bigger impact if it’s more than just you taking action. Educating people on an issue you care about can have a knock-on effect by leading to change in your local community or even in society as a whole. There are various ways to raise awareness, including bringing up the issue in debates with students, wearing a T-shirt that leads people to ask you questions, and talking about the issue online, such as by posting on social media, creating videos, or writing a guest blog post.
4. Offer Tutoring Services
If you’d like to help other students, consider tutoring. For example, you could provide affordable services to students who are finding a class difficult that you passed with flying colours. Alternatively, you could tutor students who are struggling with a particular skill you possess, such as speaking a foreign language, coding, or math.
5. Branch Out to Experience Other Viewpoints
You may only hear limited perspectives if all your activities at university centre on a common theme. However, there are multiple ways to expose yourself to new ideas — although this will likely mean stepping out of your comfort zone. For instance, you could sign up for an elective completely unrelated to your major, join an extracurricular you wouldn’t typically consider, or go to a campus event that none of your friends are attending.
The key to making a positive impact is mixing with a variety of people. It’s easy to fall into the trap of having only a small social circle at university — perhaps all your friends take the same classes as you or belong to the same clubs due to a shared interest. You can widen your social circle by living in a student community. For apartments near UOttawa, look no further than THEO. You’ll have opportunities to socialize in places like the lounge, common kitchen, gym, and basketball court. Book a tour with a leasing agent today.