Click to read about the best places to eat on campus, freshman packing tips, and how to keep in touch with friends.

OPINION: Bored during USF’s summer break? Volunteer.

I found a fun way to volunteer, and you can too. ORACLE GRAPHIC/ JEISLIAN QUILES-SIERRA

Did you know that charity work doesn’t have to be boring or laborious? In fact, you can do it from the comfort of your home.

I came to this realization when I saw a BullsConnect poster advertising for Crafts 4 Charity, a local crocheting club that focuses on building community through arts and craft.

They needed volunteers to crochet for that week’s theme, which was sea animals. To fit the theme, I made a crochet jellyfish that would soon be donated to a shelter. 

Crochet items that were donated to charity. ORACLE PHOTO/ Aditi Ragothaman

Since I’ve started with the club, I’ve recognized how rewarding working for charity can be. I never knew that I could use my pastime hobbies to volunteer and make a change in my community. 

If you’re free this summer, consider volunteering – it’s not as boring as you may think. 

Related: Why Florida summer is the best season, from a USF student

I first started crocheting during the pandemic. With all that time in my hands, boredom pushed me to find new things to do. I learned the basics of crochet from a class, and taught myself the rest with Youtube. 

With every yarn loop on my hook, crocheting brings me a little happiness.

But I never expected my new hobby to become my own little obsession and even my way to participate in charity work.

If you’ve spent every day for the past month since spring classes ended unsure on what to do with yourself, volunteering might be the answer. 

Like spending time with kids? Consider tutoring. Like reading? Volunteer at a library. Like gardening and plants? Donate your time to the Botanical Gardens. 

These are just a few examples, there are so many more organizations you can volunteer with. 

As university students, we are supposed to voyage into self-discovery and start building new connections – this can help you do both. 

With Crafts 4 Charity, I’ve been able to make friends and gain leadership skills while donating handmade gifts to charities like Homeless Helping Homeless. 

So far, I’ve donated crocheted keychains, stuffed animals, pouches and coasters. As the semester progressed, I also became more involved by becoming the club’s vice president. 

If you’re unsure where to start, you can always join one of USF’s student organizations and volunteer with them. Finding a community of like-minded people may inspire you to make a difference. 

Related: Hop in, USF students. We’re going to the movies.

This summer, while you take some time to relax, sleep and catch up on Netflix watchlists, also think about becoming a volunteer. 

Get out there, make a difference, and have some fun while you’re at it.