Finding Your “Thing”
When Universities have to cater for over fifteen thousand different students ranging from diverse backgrounds, religions, countries and cultures, you can be safe in the knowledge that there will be something that will hold your interest during your free time at University.
Societies are a great way to get more involved with others at University and let you have another outlet for your interests, because trust me, although you’ve worked so hard to get onto your course the idea of just spending three (or even more) solid years focused solely on your degree with no outside relief can be rather claustrophobic. Depending on your degree, you may have a lot of free time on your hands (I’m looking at you fellow English students), and there is only so much seminar preparation and reading you can do before you start to get mind numbingly bored. So if you use your time wisely you can explore what other avenues interest you.
Societies are a great thing to put on your CV, as it shows employers another side to you. University is not just based around your academic work (you may find in your fresher year work takes a back burner for a few people…), it is also about expanding your interests, experiences and opening up more opportunities for you. Societies can let you travel, run for committee positions and offer you a whole other avenue you may not have necessarily thought you were interested in. Societies can range from the weird to the wonderful, but if you find something that suits you, go for it and embrace it. I always knew that writing for a University paper or magazine was an idea that I had been interested in, so when it came to my Freshers Fair I signed up (despite my arms being heavy with the weight of free pizza vouchers being generously handed out around Campus, as well as pens and leaflets for every club in town). I was confident with my choice of wanting to explore what the Media Centre had to offer, until the moment I got an email telling me when the first meeting was, and inviting me to join their facebook page. It suddenly hit me that I didn’t know these people, and they were a few years older than me, and I started to think that I had made a mistake in so eagerly offering myself to them. However, seeing as you spend your whole time at University meeting new people, why should this be any different? Daunting as it is to enter into a room full of people you don’t know, just keep in mind that you’re all there for the same reasons.
When Freshers Fair rolls around you may find yourself signing up for literally everything; it all sounds so exciting and when someone is telling you “yeah, we go skiing at Christmas and Easter, and we have like the best socials ever” you find yourself pretty much throwing your contact details at them, despite the concept of skiing terrifying you. Now is the time to try new things, as the opportunities are so readily available (however, maybe think carefully about how much your signing up for as I still get emails from the Women’s Rugby Team and Skateboarding Society, despite knowing nothing about the sport and having very poor balance)
My friend took up fencing despite never having played before (I think her only knowledge of it was watching a young Lindsay Lohan battle herself in a fencing match in The Parent Trap), but now competes in competitions and is the treasurer for the club. Another joined the Scuba Diving Society, and spent her summer in Egypt practicing her newfound skills. There will sports, clubs and societies that you never even imagined existed, so now is the perfect time to discover something new about yourself.
Of course your “thing” doesn’t necessarily have to be in the form of a society, joining a sports team is an obvious way to meet new people. You can join competitive teams, or ones that play on a more sociable level. Either way, you will be doing something that you enjoy, gaining social skills, new friends, and showing yourself to be a well-rounded figure; all perfect qualities to put on a CV.