By: Tate S. Coulter, BS’21
How does one achieve happiness?
I believe true happiness can only be achieved by putting a little joy into someone else’s life.
I try to implement this idea in my life every day. Flanner House is my favorite place to give back a little joy to our community. Flanner House of Indianapolis’ mission is to “support, advocate for and empower individuals, children and families by applying educational, social and economic resources that move members of the community towards stabilization, and self-sufficiency.”
I volunteer there amid I-CORE classes, running my own business, and staying involved at school through many avenues, including as a Kelley Ambassador. I would not change my experience for anything, because it has allowed me the opportunity to better myself in all aspects of my life.
When telling my story about volunteering and WHY I volunteer, I am often asked the following questions:
How do I manage my time?
Time management is one of the first and most challenging things any college student faces. I quickly got overwhelmed during my first semester at college, and even more so as I got more involved. However, I began to manage my time more efficiently following these guidelines I made for myself, and they are as follows:
- Establish what your main goal is and prioritize around that goal.
- Ex. I prioritize around my goal of maximizing my educational experience at the Kelley School of Business Indianapolis while giving back to our community.
- Once you identify which events/activities/tasks are important to your goal, organize them within an agenda or planner.
- Then every morning and evening use this agenda or planner to see what you need to do for that day or the next.
These are just three simple guidelines I follow for myself. I suggest you find what works best for you, however, it is important to identify your goal and prioritize around that goal. You cannot do everything, but with good time management skills you will do more than you ever have (or ever thought you could!)
How has volunteering changed my life?
Volunteering always brings forth unexpected lessons and opportunities. My time spent at Flanner House has fundamentally impacted my life. I have been blessed in my life with health, a good family and a life full of opportunities. I did not realize how many opportunities in life I was given until I volunteered at Flanner House. I quickly realized there are many people who are in need of basic necessities like affordable healthy food, access to financial services and affordable daycare, so they can work to provide for their families. I use this newfound awareness as motivation to optimize my opportunities, so I can maximize my ability to give back to others and offer them an opportunity.
Volunteering has also impacted my professional career in ways I did not expect as well. One day stands out in particular to me. I was coming to Flanner House as usual to volunteer, and when I drove up there were somewhere between 30-40 people ready also to volunteer. I joined the group in the task of mulching the Flanner House facilities. While working with the group, I made connections and networked with a number of people, and soon I found out to my surprise the group was from Deloitte. Networking opportunities like this one happen more frequently than I ever imagined while volunteering.
I have learned with volunteering that often when you give, you receive back just as much if not more in some way, shape or form.
Go find your way of putting a little joy in someone’s life and be amazed at the happiness it brings to you!
Tate S. Coulter is an accounting and finance major in the Kelley School of Business Indianapolis Undergraduate Program. He is also in the Honors College and a Kelley Ambassador, and he plans to graduate in May of 2021.