All work and no play

University can be a very stressful time for most people when coursework deadlines and exams are looming. Have you ever wanted a distraction? The best one... get involved!

Most people start university in the autumn term, and some will join in January. Either way, the new semester is a great time to join something new.

Some universities have a refreshers period, similar to fresher’s week where you can try out new clubs and societies for free. Universities tend to have a wide range of societies from the obvious to the not so obvious, giving you a great choice. Take the opportunity to try some new things by joining a society or two that you really enjoy.

There are also many volunteering events and sports clubs to try out. Volunteering opportunities include:

  • Working in a charity store
  • Fundraising for a charity
  • Going abroad to volunteer
  • Tutoring school students

There are plenty of reasons for getting involved. The best one is simply to meet new people and make friends. Joining a university can be quite daunting when you don’t know anyone, so try some societies to meet new people! It is also a good chance to focus on something other than university work and will be something you can add to your CV. 

Take the lead…

It doesn't matter what you join, as long as you enjoy it. Any society, club or volunteering work you do is a great distraction from the pressures of university and at the same time gives you fantastic material for your CV. Some skills you can gain from joining a society include time management, team work and communication.

You could also gain additional leadership skills by becoming a committee member of a society including skills specific to your role. As treasurer you could improve your money management skills and as social secretary you can develop your social media and interpersonal skills.

Most sports clubs give you the chance to compete against other universities. For example, Jiu Jitsu holds national and regional events throughout the year, giving members a chance to train with new people. Joining national societies gives you the added bonus of meeting people from other universities who have similar interests to you, such as Bright Futures which hosts regular careers events. 

If you can’t find anything you’re passionate about you could always team up with some friends and make your own society – to find out how, ask your Student Union. Creating your own society shows enthusiasm and initiative. 

So, what now?… check your Students’ Union’s website for the list of societies and clubs and join one! Here are just some of the ways you can get involved:

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Giri Kiritharan is a second-year student of Human Biosciences at Coventry University and a member of the Pearson Student Advisory Board.

Portrait of Giri Kiritharan