Students may gain longevity from serving

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A new study has shown that when people donate their time to others they find more time in their schedules and live longer than those who do not serve.

Cassie Mogilner, assistant professor of marketing at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, told The Harvard Business Review about the benefits serving can have on someone’s well-being.

“The explanation that emerged in our results is that people who give time feel more capable, confident, and useful,” Mogilner said. “They feel they’ve accomplished something and, therefore, that they can accomplish more in the future. And this self-efficacy makes them feel that time is more expansive.”

For BYU students looking for more service opportunities, the Y-Serve Center  in the Wilkinson Student Center offers fun activities all year that allow participants to serve fellow students as well as those in their community.

[/media-credit] The Wilkinson Student Center is home to the Y-Serve Center and the Stop-and-Serve program
With more than 60 programs to choose from, Y-Serve can find a service organization that suits the interests and time commitments of any student who wants to volunteer. All programs are run by student program directors, who are in turn overseen by a student service council. None of the students are financially compensated for their time.

Janine Green, operations supervisor for the Center for Service and Learning said that volunteers are not serving simply because they have plenty of time to spare, but are just as busy as other students.

“Our student volunteers don’t serve because they have free time; they serve because they care,” Green said. “Many students have no idea what (program) they want to serve with when they come in, but we always find something that is right for them.”

Not only does donating time help people feel more confident and capable, but it may actually increase one’s lifespan.

The American Psychological Association recently published the following study results on its website: “This was the first time research has shown volunteers’ motives can have a significant impact on life span. Volunteers lived longer than people who didn’t volunteer.”

With most students juggling responsibilities with school, work and social life, finding time to serve may seem an overwhelming task. However, the Y-Serve office in the Wilkinson Student Center has offered convenient solutions to students who want to serve regardless of their busy schedules.

The Wilkinson Center main entrance is home to the Y-Serve Office and the Stop-and-Serve Program around the corner. Stop-and-Serve  is one of the 64 programs run by Y-Serve.  Students can stop by any time during the day and work on ongoing service projects. They are welcome to stay for hours or minutes, and no prior appointment is required.

Chelsey Burns, a freshman pre-nursing major from Springville, often visits the Stop-and-Serve in between classes.

“I like that I can do it on my own time,” Burns said. “They have fun projects every time, and I like to think about who the project is going to be for. I was a little nervous the first time I came in, but everyone is really nice and helpful.”

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