Your essay on Foucault—due Friday. Your new Treasurer role. Your social life…and your mental health. Anyone who’s been to college knows it’s all too easy to get caught up in the day-to-day. Pressures mount on all sides.

In an ideal universe (that we’re sure doesn’t exist!), college would be the place for students to learn that there’s a larger world out there, too. And they would volunteer in droves, connect with their communities, and help their fellow students.

Local Service

This year, once again, thousands of students will go on alternative spring break trips, or travel to places like Haiti or India to assist those in need. But what about the less fortunate living just down the block? And what about the rest of the school year?

Every college town is its own unique sphere. It’s populated by an entirely distinctive—and lively—cast of characters. All of these towns share something in common, too; they’re bursting with needs and opportunities for volunteers.

If you’re interested, you can start by contacting local community centers, hospitals, churches, and soup kitchens. You’ll discover that—when given the chance—students and citizens can grow and learn in tandem.

Fostering Campus Community

In some cases, the best way to build an effective community is to start with student government. Student government is there to build lasting bridges—and just help other students have a great college experience.

At larger schools, students might feel disconnected. At smaller schools, the school is the community—and it needs TLC. At either, a fun-filled, all-inclusive campus event—like a “Spring Fling” or a freshman orientation—is a fantastic way for a student government to get like-minded students together, inspiring meaningful relationships and building lasting networks.

To those of you performing either local or student service, we applaud you. We stand with you. We’re looking forward to admiring your accomplishments—and we’re excited for you to get in touch.