While obtaining a student job whilst at university may be extremely beneficial (especially to help finance all those nights out!), it is not the only option for making the most of your time here. Volunteering can be extremely rewarding to both you and the cause you are helping, whether directly or indirectly. It allows us to give something back to the community. In my opinion, the best thing about volunteering is the fact that there are virtually thousands of opportunities out there so there will definitely be something of interest for everyone without the pressure of heavy competition that there can be in job applications.
I have actively been involved in volunteering since joining university. When I was in student accommodation, I realised that there were a tonne of charity shops in the area. I decided to give my time to one of them and haven’t looked back since. Helping out at this charity shop has helped me meet a lot of interesting people - who I would not usually get the opportunity to - be it fellow volunteers or even the customers who frequent the shops. Seeing as most charity shops support a specific cause, I take great comfort in the fact that I know that what I am doing is in some way making life better for that group. Gaining shop experience to increase my expanding employable skills is an added bonus!
Of course, working in a shop isn’t for everyone (although you’d be surprised at how fun it can be!). The University provides an extensive database for volunteering opportunities around the area. Through Sheffield Volunteering I have taken part in loads of one-off events including being a referee for a sporting event for young children (I cannot begin to express how enjoyable that is with lots of screaming kids running around).
If that’s not enough to motivate you.... Volunteering provides a huge amount of experience which you can add to your CV. So go out there, volunteer, have lots of fun, gain a vast amount of skills, THEN impress future employers!!