By Lucy Wellby

It’s important to remember that university is not just about getting a degree – it’s about having fun, having “the time of your life”, and all that jazz. Making new friends and gaining life experience are integral parts of the university experience. Make the most of every opportunity and go wild in getting involved with university life outside of your course, because the benefits can be huge.

Firstly and perhaps most importantly, the social advantages can be vast. Much emphasis is put on having a great time at university, but for many students it can be lonely and daunting at times, especially with homesickness to contend with. Joining a society or sports team can give you more to do outside of academia, keeping you active and social, and can give a greater structure to your week.
When you join a society you are joining a group of people who all have the same passion as you, whether that is Shakespeare, debating, Disney or belly dancing. Extend your social circle and find new buddies – you don’t just have to stick to your flatmates. Not only this, but you can indulge in what you enjoy doing at the same time.
Rosie Harvey, a third year Psychology student, is part of Stage Society and the Action committee. She had this to say: “Getting involved in so many sections and clubs has made me more outgoing and confident, not just within myself but with my own abilities and has helped me to develop as a person. I have met so many different people, many of which I am now lucky enough to call my best friends, and I know I can take away so many amazing memories from my time at university because of the things I’ve done.” Wise words Rosie.
Employability is another factor to consider. We might not want to think about it yet, but university has to end at some point, and it’s important to emerge as someone that people want to employ. Taking part in co-curricular activities can make you seem a much more interesting candidate and can give you a lot more to talk about on your CV and in interviews.
Why not do some good at the same time as enjoying yourself? Volunteering with Action and raising money for RAG is a great way of getting involved – you are helping others at the same time as benefiting yourself.
Who knows what you might gain this year? Go get involved! You could surprise yourself.


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