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It’s because when you volunteer, you become a part of something bigger than yourself.

The start of every semester at university is busy and confusing. It’s a time when you’re trying to figure out which classes to drop or add and trying desperately to climb out of bed in time for that 8:30am class. I’ve been there—I get it! Being a student (and spending hours a day actually thinking) is tiring work!

But I’m going to take a few lines to propose something radical, something I’m calling the “Do more work, be less tired” strategy. You see, in ten easy steps…

Actually, I lied: it’s not that simple. I don’t have a pill you can take to add IQ points, I can’t add more hours to each day, and I can’t make your sleep three times as potent. I can say this, however: every good university student knows that time management is everything. But how many of us have taken time recently to put our commitments and lives into perspective? How many of us have managed the things we do each day? Do we really know the things we value?

Think about it. What’s the one thing you do each day, regularly, without fail? Drink coffee, right? Is there anything else you do consistently? Eat food. Surf the Internet. Sleep. (Maybe) Schoolwork.

Now think ten years down the line: drinking coffee was important—it got you through all those classes! And eating food? Also a good choice, my friend. But in ten years, will you be satisfied with the four hours a day you spent on your laptop surfing the net? And now add the two hours on your phone. The three hours watching TV shows. The hour and a half you spent eating lounging around, trying not to think about those seven chapters you have to read for tomorrow’s lecture… All those wasted hours are kind of lame, right? The fact that they form the highlight reel of your life at university is—let’s be frank—depressing.

So what will be important in ten years? The classes you took will be important—but only if you do something with them. And you know what? You can worry about the future ten years down the road. Do something now.

There are hundreds of clubs at SFU that you can take part in: some of them are great for forming new relationships, others are focused around an important cause, and still others are religious or academic. You don’t have time, you say? Give up two hours of Internet a week. You’ve got time, pal.

You’re already part of a club, you say? Good on you for joining—now volunteer! I guarantee that you won’t regret it. It might seem like a big step: you don’t know anyone in the organization, you’ve never done something like it before, you’re out of your comfort zone and you’re uncomfortable. It’s tough and frightening and I know—but you’ll be making a difference.

You know how I can guarantee that you won’t regret it, and say it with confidence? It’s because when you volunteer, you become a part of something bigger than yourself. You can do more work and be less tired because it’s not work. Think of it as soul food. When you work for others and don’t expect anything in return, it’s like you’re feeding your soul.

Think about it. How hungry is your soul today?

Join a club. Volunteer. Make a difference. The first step is reading the rest of this blog and finding out places where you can contribute.

Did you just decide to scroll down and read the rest? You’ve just joined the human race. Congratulations, my friend.

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