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Community Service: A Call To Arms This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Community service provides not only a service to society, but to the volunteer, too. Being involved with others is fulfilling, both physically and emotionally. As teenagers, we've heard the accepted ideas about community service: "It's good to give back to a society that has given so much to you," "Community service enriches your personality and strengthens your people skills," even "Volunteering will look good on your college applications." All of these are true, but one equally important idea remains; community service is fun. Just plain old selfish fun. With the mindset "what's in it for me" running without check in the adolescent world, why not take out of life what you put in?

Through community service, you are able to meet other people who share some of your interests. New friends help expand your existing world. If you live along the back roads of Massachusetts, volunteering in Boston will open your eyes to new and exciting experiences not found in the suburbs. Volunteering on a farm in the hills of Virginia may be the getaway you need from the stressful life of school.

The choice is yours.

Community service is also a great way to explore your interests. If you're interested in oceanography, volunteer at your local aquarium. If you're interested in medicine, volunteer at a hospital. These types of community services will serve as an evaluation of your potential future career, a little research never hurt anyone.

Maybe these aren't the most positive reasons to start serving the community, but once you begin a volunteer position you love, you'll never want to relinquish it. It's fine to begin volunteer work with selfish motives; your motives will quickly change. Simply taking 15 minutes to talk to someone less fortunate can change your perspective on life profoundly. Sacrifice of time and skills for the benefit of others can make you feel strangely complete. Beginning your community service with selfish motives is not a crime; the crime lies in finishing this way. Try community service to benefit your life, as well as the lives of others. fl


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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