Saturday, 3 October 2015

How to Get Involved in Student Life


Way back in August it was suggested to me by Blake to write a post about getting involved in student life. I've had student posts planned ahead for a while now (gotta stay organised!) so I thought now would be a nice time to finally post this!

University is a wonderful time to immerse yourself in a whole variety of activities. There is, quite frankly, a society for everyone, so you're bound to find people with the same interests as you somewhere! (There's even a Tunnocks Caramel Wafer Appreciation Society at my uni - yup)

Most subjects should have their own societies so you can connect with people on your courses etc., but that's not all university has to offer. If you're sporty, join a team or go to some classes at the gym to keep up your love of volleyball. Always wanted to play Quidditch? Most universities these days have a Harry Potter society! If you play a musical instrument, see if your university offers lessons or the opportunity to perform in groups or choirs. If you like to binge watch TV shows and films, why not join a society that does exactly that?! Seriously, the hard part will not be finding the right society - it will be showing up to their events!

Getting involved can be tough if you're naturally quite a shy, introverted person. But my wee words of wisdom on that note is that you're only the 'new kid' once - after that first society meetup, you'll get into the swing of things in no time. You'll start building up relationships with the other society members, and eventually you'll all get to be quite close friends because you all share a common interest.

But how do you begin to get involved? Normally universities hold a Societies Fayre at some point in the year, normally during Fresher's Week and ReFresher's Week. (Granted this is being written in October so both of those weeks are nowhere in sight, but hey, better now than never right?) These fayres are a great opportunity to talk to the presidents of the societies and sign yourself up to their mailing lists, or even pay your membership fee then and there if you know you'll go to their events! As a fresher I signed up to a lot of mailing lists but rarely went to any society events, mainly because of the fear of not knowing anybody. At least by signing up to the mailing lists you are notified of when the societies are holding events, and you are free to come and go as you please, without the pressure of being an actual member.

If societies aren't quite your cup of tea and you'd rather take part in something that makes more of a difference to student life, then it's worth checking out what university-led projects are available to you. Personally I am a student ambassador at my uni, so I represent my university to prospective students at open days. If you're interested in making real change to the quality of student life in your university, why not run for one of the dozens of committee positions that come to the fore during election season? So many people run for positions on hall committees and student representation boards. Let your voice be heard!

How do you get involved in extra-curricular activities?

Speak soon!

Chloe x