This O-Week, Don’t Be Afraid to Sign Up for Clubs and Societies
"Those people in those bright t-shirts waving paper in your face? They’re the best people you’re going to meet."
To be honest, the ‘O’ in O-Week should stand for overwhelming because that’s exactly what it is. There are too many stalls with people in bright t-shirts and huge smiles trying to get you to sign up to their society (“It’s only $10 for the whole year!). Freebies are tossed around like confetti, most of which contain condoms and tampons because why the heck not, and there’s always that one person who is day drinking.
But if you are anything like me when I first started uni – awkward and unable to form coherent sentences to strangers – then you’ll find O-Week to be absolutely terrifying. There are thousands of new faces, names you’ll hardly remember, at least ten songs playing at once, and the subconscious pressure at the back of your mind reminding you that this is where it all starts. This is where your future begins. Why waste it on the frivolity of clubs and societies?
So I didn’t sign up for anything; I didn’t see the point in joining societies when I had my own goals, my own dreams that needed my attention.
Having Regret Is Worse Than Being Afraid
Throughout the year, I made friends, hung out with them and we laughed at terrible memes together. However, I soon realised I only hung out with them during tutorials or a bit afterwards for coffee (tutorials were so draining when you were Snapchatting each other the whole time). Coffee would end when they had events or meetings with societies to attend, and often they’d invite me to tag along. I’d refuse politely with a smile and say I had to study for the upcoming exam, to which they’d laugh. At the back of my mind, I wished I went with them. I was curious about what they did, who they met, what they felt when they were mingling with strange faces and facing new challenges.
For the longest time I was asking: how do they do it?
But little old me refused to climb out of my shell; and so my first year of uni consisted of study, chatting to friends, and feeling a tiny bit lost in the universe.
If I could go back in time, I would have signed up to something, whether it would have been the Italian Forum Society, the Communications Club, or the Gamers Society. I would have emailed the uni magazine and requested to be a sub-editor. I would have attended events hosted by the UN Society and had dinner with a bunch of graduates at the Careers Expo.
There are so many things I would have done. I regret not doing them what I had the chance.
So here is my advice: don’t be afraid to sign up for clubs and societies.
But the most amazing part about joining clubs and societies is that they’ve formed the foundation for some of the best friendships I’ve ever had.
Those people in those bright t-shirts waving paper in your face? They’re the best people you’re going to meet. Uni is the time to be involved in as much as you can so you may as well go for it. Four years on, I leave the house on the regular basis to society meetings. My networking circle has grown immensely – I know people I thought I would never know, and they know people I really want to know.
But the most amazing part about joining clubs and societies is that they’ve formed the foundation for some of the best friendships I’ve ever had. These friendships, as corny as it sounds, will stay with me for a long time.
To you and to little old me in the shell, I say this: venture out. You’d be surprised with what you’ll find out there.
(Lead image: Pitch Perfect/Universal)