Get Involved To Get Invested: Finding Meaning in Volunteering
In this blog, we’re hearing from Artemis, one of Tutor The Nation’s incredible Volunteer Ambassadors. Read on to learn more about how Artemis finds meaning in her volunteering work.
You’re looking at volunteering projects, and maybe asking ‘is this actually meaningful?’ After all, it’s all just words and numbers on the screen, and not so different from the words and numbers of many, many other projects. Maybe even before that, you’re asking ‘what’s the point of volunteering when I could gain the same skills and experience with a paid job?’
Volunteering has many practical benefits, but what it uniquely offers is a sense of meaning and purpose that can only come from giving, instead of receiving.
It comes from making an impact on someone’s life, and on the world around you. It cultivates empathy, a spirit of giving, and a sense of community. And it’s what all the numerical data of volunteering projects, though helpful, cannot communicate. Because these data are just facts and symbols until you create a personal connection to them – getting involved, believing in your work, and seeing the difference you’re making.For me, being a TTN Ambassador and seeing the impact tutors are making on their pupils has been deeply inspiring and motivating. And the more I got involved, the more enthusiastic I was about the work TTN is doing.
“Now the story is mine to tell, and it’s a part of my life.”
One of the main roles of an Ambassador is talking to people about TTN, and it’s incredible how big an impact that has. We all know how face-to-face communication makes a message more personal so that the other person is more willing to sign up as a volunteer, but what about in terms of yourself? For me, the project became more personal when it became part of my conversation. It wasn’t just something I read online and could easily scroll past, not something external and disconnected from my life – now the story is mine to tell, and it’s a part of my life. So get involved, be part of something, and you might find it much more meaningful than you realised.
If you’re struggling to commit to a project yourself, it becomes much easier once you talk to people who are excited about it. Talking to staff and volunteers is a great way to learn more about a project and get invested. I loved chatting and working with the other TTN Ambassadors at my university. We were all really excited about the Volunteering Fair, and though we organised shifts, we all just stayed the entire time because it was such a rewarding experience. I also got to meet other people involved in TTN through orientations and team calls. Seeing the progress we’ve made has been unbelievable. And realising there are people from all over the country who are also getting involved in and excited about it, it’s hard not to get excited yourself!
“With TTN, you can actually see the difference you’re making every step of the way.“
We’re often disconnected from the end product of charity work – we donate money, help out at charity shops and fundraising events, but don’t see where the money goes to, what it does, and the lives it affects. It’s easy for charity to then become a mere gesture, divested from its actual meaning and impact. But when you’re volunteering with TTN, you can actually see the difference you’re making every step of the way. Seeing your pupils’ progress and how tutoring has helped them is incredibly poignant and heartwarming, and highlights the difference you can make as an individual in the most personal way.
Actively getting involved in a volunteering project really helps you gain enthusiasm and feel the impact of the work you’re doing. The more you do, the more you understand how significant and meaningful volunteering can be. Being a TTN Ambassador, I’ve not only gained experience and skills – but I’ve become increasingly passionate about its cause and interested in what I can do more as I learn more and participate in events. But again, all this is just words on a screen. Reading about volunteering is a first step, but we all need to take action to make it count. There are so many meaningful projects out there – and Tutor the Nation is an amazing one – if you’re willing to step up and get involved.