It is much easier to do your own thing and stay isolated than to stick your neck out and actually do something to make your local community a better place. Doing so will give you a greater sense of belonging and will help to ingratiate you with your neighbors and the local inhabitants. In addition, helping to improve your own community can make you more of a compelling prospect for employers and educators. In particular, if you are aiming at starting a human services degree, getting out and about in your community will act as a gold star when you apply.
Volunteering is one of the best ways in which you can give back to your community. For example, you could get involved with a local sports team as an assistant coach, or you could organize some sort of local sale to raise money for the needy. Volunteering at a homeless shelter is also a great idea, or perhaps you could visit an elderly person in need of some company.
How about cleaning up your local community? If you can gather some support, then get together a team of friends and family to patrol the streets once per week, picking up litter and trash.
Next, consider setting up a local neighborhood watch, if there isn’t one already. Again, pool your resources and get your friends, family, and neighbors in to help you. Doing so will make your entire community a safer and happier place to live, and people will thank you for this.
Another alternative is to become more actively involved in local events. For example, if there are town hall meetings, church events, local charity events and other venues, put your hand up to get involved and take responsibility for something.
You might even consider setting events up yourself. Planning social events is a fantastic way to get people together, and will create more of a community spirit in your area. Being responsible for galvanizing your neighbors into action, and helping to develop social bonds between them, is hugely gratifying. So, plan street barbecues, cookouts, parades, and other local events.
At the very base of all of this is simply to be a good example to others. When you pass your neighbors in the street, say ‘hello’. Be actively social, kind, and helpful whenever you can be. You need to start by being a model citizen before you start attempting to make any drastic changes yourself, and regardless as to whether you are applying for a human services degree or not, this should be your priority.