Whether you want to improve your future society, help others, or meet higher education institutions’ admissions expectations, there are countless ways to make a positive impact as a student. However, if you pay attention to how and why you’re doing something, you’ll likely find that it’s all a lot more fun.
In this post, I’ll explore some things that will make you an inspired and active citizen and member of the community.
How You Can Help Improve Our Society
As a student, you may have limited time. However, that shouldn’t stop you from contributing and making a difference. Regardless of your living situation, there are countless ways to make a difference as a student.
1. Educate Yourself
In the modern age, it’s easier than ever for a young person to access information online and then use it to make an informed decision. A good education goes a long way toward helping you achieve your goals.
The better informed you are, the better decisions you can make.
It’s important to educate yourself about the issue in which you want to make a difference. For example, if you’re interested in human rights, it’s important that you understand the areas of human rights such as equality, refugees, freedom of expression, etc.
2. Take a Mentor
A mentor is a great way to learn from someone who’s made a difference in your field. He will take you under their wing and guide you along the way so you can learn as much as possible.
A good mentor doesn’t tell you how to do something, but lets you make the decisions that are right for you.
Your mentor will listen to you and now have expectations, he will see things as they really are, and help you make the right decisions for yourself by asking you the right questions. He can teach you how to handle difficult situations, deal with a difficult person, and manage your time better. Some mentors may even be able to advise you about federal student aid if you’re in financial need.
Your mentor can be someone from among your school educators, a family member, an experienced student, older volunteers if you plan to make a career in social impact, etc. The important thing is to choose someone you look up to and feel comfortable with.
3. First Limit the Damage, Then Do Good
The negative impact you’ve on others and society could be in direct proportion to the good you do if you’re not careful of your actions. Avoid taking shortcuts along the way, it’ll probably do more harm than good to your cause.
If you’re helping at-risk families and younger children, avoid doing so without consulting a professional of the organization. Many people want to make a positive difference with positive responses and don’t realize how much damage they can do if not following the rules.
Remember that trying to make a difference by lending a helping hand may only be a short-term commitment for you, but can have lifelong consequences for a young person, a parent, or a family member you help if you don’t follow the training of the organization you’re volunteering for.
If you want to donate your old clothes, make sure you only donate what’s actually needed. If you donate winter clothes to the community, you’re making life harder for yourself first, because it’ll be expensive, and the community you donate the clothes to will eventually have to throw them away and may even feel guilty. Ask the organization about their needs first, and use common sense.
4. Be Vigilant
It’s not just about the big things that make headlines.
Sometimes it’s most important to notice the little things around you and do something about them. For example, if you see a plastic bottle left on a beach, pick it up and put it in a recycling bin. It may only be a small contribution, but if everyone did it, our beaches would be much cleaner. It’s the little things that make big things happen.
5. Raise Awareness
Social issues need to be addressed. There’s no point in raising awareness about something if no one knows about it.
The more people know about a social issue, the more likely it’s that others will be willing to make a change.
There are many ways to raise awareness, such as writing blog posts, using social media, or wearing a T-shirt with a message promoting positive action. And you can combine all three methods if you want to attract more attention than just wearing a T-shirt.
There are countless areas where you can contribute to raising awareness: mental health, diversity, poverty, human rights, vulnerable younger children, helping people in financial need, etc.
6. Offer to Tutor
There are many different ways you can help others improve their skills. If you have a passion for student learning, you can share your knowledge and help others in their scholarship. If you’re good at math, you can help others understand difficult facts by breaking them down into simpler steps. Or maybe you have the ability to be a good teacher of a foreign language. When you give tuition of a foreign language, you not only pass on knowledge, but you also open people’s minds to other cultures.
7. Become a School Society Leader
Leading school social groups can be one of the most rewarding ways to use your time. Not only can you give back to the community, but you’ll learn a lot about yourself and develop new skills in the process. If you want to take the next step by becoming a leader of a society, follow these steps:
Join School Societies
Meet other community members and leaders from your school societies so you can find out when an opportunity to help comes up.
When you first take on a leadership role, it’s easy to think you need to start with a big project – such as a school fundraiser or organizing a committee to help out in the community. But it’s better not to jump into something too big right away. Instead, consider starting in your own classroom or a school club. You don’t have to plan everything in advance – just ask people if they’d like to help with something and see what they say. Then think about how you can make it happen.
Give yourself time. It may take some time before you know whether or not you want to pursue this work. Look for other leaders who’re already doing this kind of thing and see what they’re doing right – how they manage their time, what problems they’re tackling, etc. – and then try
8. Participate in School Debates
When you participate in school debates about social issues, you learn about them and can defend your point of view. This way you can find out for yourself how other people see certain issues and how they react to others’ arguments.
In a school debate, you need to be aware that not all participants are the same. Some will have more experience with the topic – young people who’ve just started studying their topic may not have had many opportunities to debate. Others will have more knowledge about the topic than you may have when you begin the discussion.
Try to get your point across effectively by using facts, figures, and other easily verifiable evidence. Avoid relying on opinions or anecdotes unless they’re very valid – and don’t forget to cite those facts!
9. Lower Consumption
Being environmentally conscious has become a big trend, and not just in the area of conservation. Lower consumption is also good for your bank account.
Here are some ideas on how you can do that:
- Reduce your electricity consumption. Switching to LED light bulbs, halogen bulbs or other energy-saving products can help you save money and reduce your carbon footprint.
- Switch from paper towels to cloth towels. Paper towels break down and generate methane. They don’t biodegrade like other natural products, which means they contribute to increasing landfills and pollution.
- Use reusable shopping bags instead of disposable bags. When you don’t need them anymore, you can use them for something else or recycle them.
- Eat less meat or eat a plant-based diet. Meat production is one of the most harmful sources of greenhouse gasses on the planet.
10. Minimize Waste
One of the easiest ways to make a contribution and save money and help the environment is to reduce waste. That’s why it’s important to have a reusable water bottle or another reusable container in your home.
Reusable food containers are also easy to find – they’re usually sold in bulk at grocery stores and supermarkets, often in sets of two or more. They’re convenient because they keep food fresher longer and don’t take up a lot of space in the refrigerator or cabinets when not in use. The downside is that they tend to be more expensive than traditional plastic containers – although they don’t get more expensive as you’ll use them over time.
Recycling is an easy way to reduce your carbon footprint. The most obvious reason to recycle, however, is the environmental benefits: separating the materials in a container and only throwing away what you recycle saves the energy it takes to produce those materials. This saves tons of energy.
12. Buy Socially Responsible Products
If you’re looking to make a socially responsible purchase, you’ve several options. You can buy from companies that have received Fair Trade certification, which means they maintain high sustainability standards and pay their employees fairly. Or you can support companies that are members of the Ethical Trading Initiative, which means they adhere to international guidelines on human rights and environmental issues.
The most effective way to advocate for socially responsible products is to buy them. This doesn’t mean you’ve to feel bad about buying something. Ethical companies are often products that you’d have bought anyway. This is the best way to make your voice heard, but it’s also the easiest way to make a difference because it doesn’t cost you any extra money or effort. You can choose from a wide range of products, from coffee and tea to cosmetics and household goods.
13. Plant Trees
Planting a tree isn’t just about the environment, it’s also about giving back. By planting a tree, you’re helping to improve our planet for future generations.
Some organizations are always looking for helpers, and if you can’t, there are organizations that allow you to adopt a tree, meaning you donate and the organization plants for the amount donated.
14. Donate Money
Most people don’t have the time to volunteer, others don’t feel comfortable doing so because they don’t know how best to help. Donating money is the most common way, but as a student, it can be costly, especially if you don’t have a lot of money to spare. Many communities, nonprofits, and even individuals are asking for financial aid starting at $1 on social media these days.
If you want to put your money to good use, look for charities that focus on helping people in your community. For example, if you live near an animal shelter, you should donate directly to it. Or if there’s a local food pantry in your area that needs help – that can be a great way for you to get more involved.
15. Donate Things
One of the reasons people donate is because they want to help others. If you can’t afford it, there are other options than financial aid. Here are some other ways you can help:
- Clothing: Homeless people often need clothing, especially in the winter. Check with your local homeless shelter or police department to see what kind of clothing is most needed and donate it.
- Items: If you’ve old books that you no longer need, take them to a library or local bookstore and donate them there instead of throwing them away.
- Hair: Make an appointment with a hairdresser, pay for a haircut and then donate your hair to a cancer center. Adults and children with cancer who’ve lost their hair due to chemotherapy will greatly appreciate it.
16. Use Your Birthday for a Fundraiser
Using your birthday to raise funds for a cause you care about is a great way to get people excited about your project in making a difference.
If you’re looking for a fun way to raise money for charity but don’t have the time or resources for a big fundraiser, you can start a small fundraiser on Facebook. It’s usually best to ask for friends or a parent contribution to start with first, so you don’t start from zero.
If you don’t want to use Facebook, there are a number of websites for creating fundraising campaigns, from Kickstarter to Indiegogo and more.
17. Join a Community
You can change the world by joining a community that works toward a specific goal. It’s not easy to make the world a better place, but it’s easier when you’ve others working towards the same goal.
Communities are great places to get information.
You can learn about what other people are doing to improve their local communities and find out how to help them. People also need to feel like they can make a difference. So a place to discuss problems and implement solutions seems more important than just talking about problems and existing solutions.
Like-minded people who want the same thing can be a great source of inspiration and motivation. They can help you find creative ways to help your community. Even if you aren’t committed to their cause, learning about their problems is helpful because it makes you think differently about your own community.
18. Become an Ambassador
Getting involved with a cause is a great way to make a difference. In fact, there are many communities and nonprofit organizations that are looking for brand ambassadors to help them spread the word and get people to support them in making a difference.
As an ambassador, you’re essentially an advocate for your organization (or cause). For most ambassadorship opportunities, you don’t need any special expertise or experience. All you need is enthusiasm to make a positive impact and the ability to communicate it effectively.
19. Campaign for Change
Your student organization will have an official website where you can learn more about their activities, volunteer opportunities, and often a campaign page where they hold fundraisers.
Perhaps your student organization will also run its own campaigns by launching one-off events, raising awareness of an upcoming event, or asking for donations.
If there’s an event or campaign you want to start in your student union, check the website to see what’s already going on and if it meets your organization’s goals. If you want to start your own campaign, you can find many resources online to help you get started.
Volunteering is a great way to make a difference and gain professional experience. But there are other, less obvious benefits to volunteering.
First and foremost, volunteering allows you to help others and give back. You can make a real difference in someone else’s life. And that not only gives you a good feeling but also boosts your self-confidence and motivation.
Volunteering also gives you the opportunity to learn about new professions or fields that you mightn’t have otherwise explored.
For example, some student volunteers become educators after volunteering with at-risk younger elementary school younger children. Others have found that they prefer working with adults’ mental health and will pursue a different career path. Still, others did not enjoy volunteering and decided that was the last time they would lend a helping hand.
In any case, volunteering is a great way to learn about yourself and for most, to develop more empathy, while learning about diverse backgrounds.
Finally, volunteering has some tangible results: People who volunteer tend to be happier and healthier than those who don’t. Studies show that volunteers feel less stressed and more energized, and that’s good for mental health.
21. Take on a Challenge
Challenges can be an effective way to raise money for a charity. Many nonprofits offer people who want to support them to take on a challenge to help them raise money.
The most common challenge is to run a marathon. It’s an inspiring idea that can become a great way to raise money and awareness for the organization you support. But it’s also a challenge that some people simply aren’t prepared for. Whether it’s their first time running or they’ve another health impairment, they simply aren’t up to the physical demands of a marathon, and that means they don’t donate or participate.
If you’re thinking about doing a challenge, keep these things in mind:
- Make sure the event is suitable for people with health problems or that they’re more likely to need medical attention after the event. For example, the marathon isn’t an ideal event for people with heart problems or high blood pressure.
- Don’t force someone to participate with you against their will. It’s not fair to the person who’d like to participate but can’t, and it might make others who’d like to participate think twice about whether it’s worth their time.
- That being said, we all have our limits: If you’re physically unable to do something – even if everything hurts afterwards – don’t do it. If you’re a health limitation that makes you vulnerable.
There are also some much easier challenges you can take on as an individual student, such as charity quizzes. It’s a great way to get to know community members, it’s fun, and it’s a great learning environment!
If you plan to participate in charity quizzes, do thorough research before signing up. Make sure the charity is reputable and that the financial aid is going to the right place.
22. Start a Social Impact Project
Social impact projects are projects that benefit others in some way or help solve social problems. This could be using technology to bring attention to issues like climate change, or a more hands-on activity like making and selling homemade crafts for charity. The idea is that the work you do – no matter how small – your student involvement will make a difference.
The benefits of socially impactful projects are many:
- You get the satisfaction of helping others
- You prove that you aren’t just wasting your time dealing with things that aren’t important
- You create something that you can show off to potential employers or higher education institutions.
- Maybe someone will take notice of you and offer you mentoring.
- You practice leadership, which may come in handy when you apply for jobs later.
23. Foster Collaboration
Collaboration is key to building solidarity and making a difference in the world. No one can make a difference on a large scale alone.
There are different ways to collaborate:
- Collaborate with others in the school
Instead of feeling like you’ve to do everything on your own, find fellow advocates who can help you achieve your goal. Find people who’re committed to the same issue, and then work together to amplify your voice.
- Work together locally
Working locally strengthens your community and increases your impact, but it’s not always easy to collaborate with others in your area. Go where you feel you can make a difference and gain as much experience as you can in this new environment while learning how to collaborate more effectively in the future.
- Work together internationally
To create lasting change on an international level, you need to tap into global support networks. Use social media to find people from different countries who’ve similar interests and challenges, or find groups like local nonprofits that are working on the same issues you’re. You never know what connections you can make through this that will lead to opportunities for collaboration in the future.
24. Build a Community
Building a community is a great way to make a difference. Most of us are raised to think we don’t have time to build a community, but if you’re serious about making a difference, you’ll find the time.
For most people, the biggest challenge is finding a cause they care about and finding their voice to advocate for it. Once you’ve done that, it’s easy to build a community for it. Start small, with just one person, and then build from there.
If you have a parent or family member with community-building experience, ask for help. If there is no one in your family, ask your instructors or student organization for advice. Older volunteers probably know someone who has done this before.
Be sure to have adults (eg: a parent, family member, student organization) work with you if you’re under the age of majority.
25. Be Friendly
The world is a bit more complicated than it first appears. There are good people and bad people, in all walks of life and everywhere.
We all have a role to play in moving society in the right direction. And we can all make a difference by simply being the best version of ourselves.
The most powerful way you can begin to make a difference is by changing the way you think about yourself and the world around you. You aren’t alone. You aren’t to blame for everything that happens. Being kind is one of the greatest gifts you can give to others – whether it’s your family, your friends, or strangers on the street.
There’s no such thing as “stranger danger.” People are people, and they deserve kindness just as much as anyone else. It starts with you.
26. Show Your Solidarity
Whether you’re participating in a campaign or volunteering for a charity, showing solidarity is a great way to boost people’s morale. It’s also a great way to show that you care about your cause and want to support it. It’s also a great way to make new friends when you join a group or campaign.
27. Promote Diversity
A diverse group includes people from diverse backgrounds, races, ages, genders, and more. To make a positive difference, it’s important to understand the reasons for diversity – what drives people to be part of such groups.
28. Show Empathy and Don’t Judge
As a high school or college student, you may see vulnerable people around you. Your classmates may come from difficult family or cultural backgrounds or have problems with drugs or alcohol; sometimes they may even be homeless.
If you want to make a positive difference, the first step is don’t judge them, especially in front of others, even if others do.
29. Visit the Elders
Visiting a retirement home is the greatest gift you can give to elders. Elders in homes are often lonely and worried about their health, while your generation is full of energy and hopeful about the future. By visiting a home, you bring enthusiasm and positivity, help them forget about their health problems and age, and you can learn a lot from some of the wise people.
30. Donate Your Blood
Donating blood is a relatively easy way to give back to the community. It’s also the most effective way to help people in need. In addition, donating blood can benefit your health in many ways – especially when it comes to preventing heart disease. Talk to your doctor to learn more, and also about whether your health allows it.
31. Adopt a Pet
If you want a new pet, don’t buy it; adopt it from a shelter.
Animal shelters provide homes for dogs and cats that have been abused, neglected, abandoned, or surrendered by their previous owners. These are effectively homeless dogs and cats that have either been rescued from animal cruelty or brought to the shelter by kind-hearted people who’ve found them on the streets.
When you adopt an animal, you often save its life. With each adoption, a shelter gains space for more animals waiting for their chance to find a loving family.
Adopting pets is cheaper than buying them in stores and most of them have been treated and vaccinated against common diseases, so they’re healthy and ready to be loved.
32. Setting a Good Example
Being a role model doesn’t mean you’ve to be good at every aspect of your life. However, you should do your best to make a difference every day in everything you do. Your words and actions will influence other people, and you should be aware of that.
33. Support Those Who Make a Difference
I believe that those who make a difference do so because they want to change the world for the better. If you support them, you can help them achieve their goal. However, some people think that supporting those who make a difference is pointless because it doesn’t make a difference, or that it’s impossible to make a difference.
I’d like to say that supporting someone can make a big difference in their life. That’s why I believe that you should support those who make a difference. As I run a community myself, there’s nothing better than receiving a message from someone acknowledging my hard work. It cheers me up, and often when I need it most!
Listening is so important – it’s the most valuable thing we can do.
Listening allows us to understand the other person and their situation. It’s amazing how enlightening it can be to listen (not hear) others. First, you help them get clarity, but you also learn a lot from them. If the whole world really listened to each other instead of calling each other names, there would be less stress and conflict.
Listening takes practice! Here are a few techniques that are helpful to get started:
- Don’t interrupt. Let the other person finish before responding with your own thoughts or opinions.
- Listen to feelings and needs. Often people share their feelings about a situation and don’t necessarily ask for advice or suggestions on how to resolve the situation. In such cases, try to paraphrase what you hear and show compassion (“It sounds like you’re feeling overwhelmed?”). This helps them clarify what they need help with and what they really want.
- Focus on the positive! We usually find it easier to give constructive feedback than compliments, but everyone needs encouragement too!
- Choose your timing carefully. There’s a time and place for everything, including relationship-building conversations. Be sure to choose a place where you both feel comfortable to have a conversation.
If each person would really listen to the other instead of talking down to them, there would be less stress, more harmony, and perhaps fewer social problems.
I believe that as humans, we need to change our attitudes to make the world a better place.
Giving and sharing are important values for a society to work together in harmony. People who give and share are usually happy people. This is because they don’t have selfish motives, but enjoy sharing their resources, thoughts, or time with other people.
The one who gives shouldn’t expect anything in return, but the one who receives should be grateful. The receiver doesn’t have to give anything in return, but he feels better when he does something good for another.
It’s very easy for us to give something, but it takes some effort to share something. The more you share, the more you get back from society.
36. Learn From Your Mistakes
When you work to make a difference, your successes affect others, but so do your mistakes. That’s why it’s important to keep learning from our mistakes so we can do better next time.
Take the time to reflect on your mistakes so you can learn from them.
Here are three tips to help you learn from your mistakes:
- Step back. When you’re in the middle of a situation, it’s hard to take a step back and think about what went wrong. Take a break and get an overview before you fix things.
- Look at things objectively. In evaluating what went wrong, it’s important to look at everything objectively. When we look back on our mistakes, we often only see what we wish had happened, not what actually happened. Make sure you look at the facts and not the things you wished had happened.
- Talk to others who’ve been in the same situation or who’ve made similar mistakes. You’ll be surprised how often others have made the same mistake you did! Reach out to your network or even someone outside your network for advice on how to handle this situation.
When you make a mistake, it’s easy to feel ashamed and quickly move on without thinking about what happened. But if you take the time to really understand why something went wrong, you can avoid making the same mistake in the future – and that’s a great way to learn.
37. Be Patient
Some people have a hard time being patient. They want immediate results and can get frustrated when things don’t happen as quickly as they’d like.
If you want to make a difference in society or in the world, you need patience. The problems you’re trying to solve are often complicated. And change doesn’t happen overnight.
You won’t always see results right away. You may feel like you’re doing great work, but not see any improvement in the world around you. You may also see negative results from your efforts and think that everything you’re doing is pointless.
But just because things aren’t changing quickly doesn’t mean that change isn’t happening or that your work isn’t making a difference.
It can be important to be aware of this so that you don’t get discouraged when you don’t see immediate results but continue your efforts.
Student Involvement in Social Impact Is Important for Your Future
There are many reasons why student involvement in making a difference can have a positive impact on your higher education:
- Real-world experiences are a learning process, and having them at a young age teaches you early on how to work and collaborate with adults. It goes beyond traditional student learning because additionally, you are making a real contribution to society.
- When you enter the real-world learning environment (eg: volunteering), it becomes part of your student achievement and looks good on your CV.
- It can have a positive impact when you talk about your learning experiences when you go to a fellowship at a higher education institution.
- It is stimulating for a class discussion
Keep a Record
Making a difference now is a great student achievement that you will remember for years to come.
You can do this by keeping a journal or even writing emails to yourself. It’s helpful to track your feelings and emotions so you can get a picture of what’s working for you and what’s not.
Recording your actions is the beginning of your legacy. Even if you’re too young to think about it and more focused on your academic excellence, you may want to pass it on to your children someday so they too can make a difference, just as you’re doing now. You can also look back at your own legacy and see how far you’ve come.
Many people wonder why volunteers like to work for free. You may be asking yourself the same question- either because you know someone for whom volunteer work is more important than other priorities, or because you’re a volunteer yourself or are thinking about becoming one. Regardless of where you stand on the issue, there are many factors we’re not aware of when we get involved.
Why do people stop volunteering? Is it because they don’t have enough time? Are they no longer interested in the cause? Or is there another reason altogether? In this blog post, I’ll take a look at some of the reasons why volunteers might stop donating their time and what organizations can do to prevent it.
There are many reasons why you might want to build a global community. Maybe you want to change the world for the better or launch the next million-dollar project. Whatever the reason, every global community starts with an idea, but not all are successful.
Honors are always a good thing to add to your CV, especially if you graduated with honors. Not only does the word mean that you have the best grades compared to the other students in your group, but it also shows employers or your college that you are likely to be diligent and do your work well.