Image credit: Shane Wenzlick/Phototek
Learning is so much more effective when you are having fun at the same time. Before starting uni, you might have already thought about how tedious and uninteresting your days will be. You need to take your studies seriously, spend hours to prepare for the real world, and basically allot much of your time in library work and research.
However, there are moments in uni where you can still unwind and have fun. Firstly, you can, of course, party hard. However, partying is not exactly an academic activity. If you want a fun activity that is useful even years after getting a degree, you should join a club or society.
Clubs and societies allow you to meet new people with the same interests as you. They enhance your social and leadership skills just by virtue of meeting and cooperating with the same group of people each week. Most importantly, your experience in a club can be carried over to your work ethic once you graduate and become part of the work force. Through clubs and societies, you can acquire many life lessons that are not taught formally in classrooms.
During Freshers' Week the Freshers' fair is your best chance to find out about the wide range of clubs and societies on offer. Find out about them online first, so you get a sense of what is available, and visit as many as you can in the day. This way you'll really find out what the people are running them are like and whether you would like to be part of that team too.
So to make your uni days more interesting and fruitful in terms of real world preparation, here are some club and society ideas you might like to consider:
If you are a bookworm, book clubs are a great way for you to meet like-minded people. Aside from merely reading and discussing one book after the other, most uni book clubs help connect students, faculty members and alumni in order to promote a more open, in-depth and healthy intellectual discussion.
Advocacy and Philanthropic Clubs
If you are more inclined towards the needs of others and social work, an advocacy-based or philanthropic club is for you. They will allow you to explore communities and do voluntary work outside the perimeters of your university. Most of all, you get to meet people from different walks of life, which will help to broaden your horizons and prepare you better for the real world.
Media societies (University Newspaper and Other Campus Journalism)
Writing is a great skill to have, whatever your degree, and it's also possible to combine your study with writing. For example if you are taking a politics degree you might want to think about being the political editor of your student newspaper. Additionally, if you are taking a media or communications degree, chances are, you are looking for ways to enhance your academic experience in preparation for the real deal. Joining your university's media societies is a great place to start. If you are more inclined to try your hand at creative writing, you can try join a writers club to enhance your skill in poetry and story writing.
Student Government Organisations
If you want to focus your advocacy or social initiatives within the university, being part of the Students' Union team is the best opportunity for you. This is also a place where you can enhance and develop your leadership skills and be able to deliver your critical opinions in the most eloquent way. The Students' Union gives you the opportunity to be aware of the issues and going-ons in the university, and raise awareness and influence about these issues among the students and in the academic community.
If you are taking up a business course and you want to have a feel of what starting and running a business could be like, joining entrepreneurship clubs is a great starting point. This is also a great place for IT students who are aiming to build their own startup business in the near future, and just anyone really who wants to learn the basics of handling and building a business through an innovative idea or product. Aside from that, entrepreneurial clubs also develop and mould a student’s leadership and teamwork skills that are necessary when running a company or their own office.
Joining a college club is not really about being entertained while you are studying for your degree. The most important things you get out of it are the experiences and camaraderie that you acquire from the activities and members of the group. It is an immersive experience that does not just make your university life interesting, but it also helps you get ready to face real-world challenges in the future. You can also talk about your experiences when you go and meet future employers.