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Positives and Negatives of Community Service

Submitted By: Katherine Han

Many schools these days require a certain amount, an hour requirement, of community service. Community service is a way for students to go out and do something they may not have done otherwise. Oftentimes, community service can build character. However, on the other hand, often students don’t always have the time to fulfill the required hours of community service. There are many benefits to community service, but there are also downsides to it.

Community service is a way for students to go out and do something instead of staying home and playing with electronics. In the 21st century, a lot of kids’ believe that a “good time” is when they can play video games and watch TV. Many kids don’t even go outside for an entire day. Having schools require community service hours is a way to push students to go outside and perform actions they wouldn’t have otherwise. Considering this aspect, community service is a great way to get students to do more outdoor activities, instead of just staying and working on electronics. Furthermore, doing more outdoor activities and community service will also help you get more exercise and allow you to grow up as a healthier person. Additionally, community service can also be a stress reliever. Doing things outside and getting more exercise will make you more awake and less stressed.

Doing community service isn’t just a way to get more exercise, it’s also a great experience and builds more character. When it comes to community service, often you can choose what kind of community work you would like to do. For example, if video games really interest you, you can go volunteer at a museum and help sort the old video games shelved there. These kinds of service opportunities can really become something that you will enjoy doing; but, if that’s not the type for you, there are also other service opportunities that you may enjoy doing. Community service can help build your character and help you learn a lot more about the world we live in. For example, you can volunteer to help children with special needs. From such an experience, you will learn how to help them learn different skills and how to treat them with respect and kindness. These kinds of service opportunities will help you become a better person as you develop your character. Community service doesn’t have to be boring, it can be a great experience and you could have a lot of fun.

Community service also allows to you help out our planet. There are a lot of community service opportunities that work to help improve our environment. Our environment is getting more and more polluted, and the Earth is warming up which is causing ice in the poles to melt at a faster rate. Some community service opportunities allow you to help our environment by planting more plants. There is one specific community service opportunity that had volunteers pull out the invasive plants in the area that once dominated the land and took over the food supply of animals. After pulling out the plants, you would go back in and plant some native plants. From such an experience, you can walk away feeling accomplished and like you’ve made a difference in the world.

As great as community service is, there are also some downsides to it. Often there is an age limit, so if you’re not old enough you can’t volunteer at certain events. Many service opportunities require you to be at least fourteen years old. Unfortunately, that means that the majority of junior high students can’t volunteer in a lot of events. This really limits their choice of community service opportunities. Another problem is that sometimes students don’t always have enough time to reach the required amount of hours. My school requires twenty hours of community service every school year. At first, this didn’t seem that bad. But, once you get into the school year, I found that there isn’t a lot of extra time for you to go to community service events. Eventually, the community service hours became a stressful task in my life.

Community service is a great way for students to help out, to exercise, and to build more character while having fun! As great as community service is, there are also some problems involved. For example, the age limit. Considering both the positive and negative aspects of community service, overall, community service can be a very helpful task for to students to pursue since the positive aspects often are greater than its downsides.

~Katherine Han

About Timothy Lee

Timothy Lee is a senior at Monta Vista High School. He moved back to the States in 2012 after living in Beijing, China for two years, and currently lives in Cupertino, California. This cross-culture experience has enabled him to encounter a vast variety of environments in which part of his writings are based on. He is also currently an officer in HEARTS, a nonprofit organization, and a VP at Silicon Valley DECA. He also has a passion in web design, computer science, badminton, and writing.

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