The community service requirement for graduation has extensive benefits beyond the school perimeter. The article, “Why is Community Service Important?” by Florida National University explores some of these advantages. Students who commit to volunteering in society gain exposure to people from diverse cultural backgrounds and ages. Those who opt to work with the elderly earn invaluable lessons acquired through sharing time with the older generations (Admin, 2013). The learners who work with less fortunate members of the community understand the nature of life in poverty. Community service helps students to build better characters and elevate their academic achievements. For instance, they gain a sense of social responsibility from volunteer work.
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However, the community service requirement before graduation is also associated with negative impacts. The students who engage in these activities tend to develop a negative attitude towards the work and refuse to embrace these roles in the future. The cognitive evaluation theory indicates that when a person feels controlled, the normal human response is to lose interest in the project and the behavior being advocated. Some learners may consider this mandated requirement as external control, which can affect their desire to engage in socially needed activities in the future. In such calls for community service, some students may not appreciate the personal or social advantages. They tend to find the experience less fulfilling because they were mandated to do it and not because they wanted to.
In my opinion, the requirement prepares students for future interaction with the community. After graduation, a learner may develop the will to continue relating with the elderly or the less fortunate in society. I believe it gives a picture of what to expect and how to respond to such social contexts. Volunteering in social work increases life satisfaction and helps an individual feel great for helping the people in need. It can also be used as a way to relieve stress and ease depression through the special bonds created with the community. I think community service is a way of improving personal knowledge and self-development from the new experiences including enhancement of interpersonal communication skills.
Admin. (2013). Why is community service important? Florida National University. Web.