Milan Perera, English Literature, Second Year
The magnificently versatile stand-up comedian Billy Connolly once said that he put himself up to do things to make himself ‘Windswept and interesting'. So why not beat the winter blues and follow in Billy’s footsteps – it’s Refreshers Week!
Feel the fear but do it anyway
It is normal to be inundated with trepidations when embarking upon something new. But societies are made up of individuals who are passionate and willing to welcome new members to the fold. Don’t be afraid.
If it is any consolation, I am going to practise what I preach, rather than pontificating from a pulpit.
For the last 10 years I have been attempting to learn to speak French. I have bought over 10 textbooks ranging from ‘French for Dummies’ to ‘Lonely Planet phrase book’, as well as three audiobooks. But sadly, my grasp of French remains deplorably poor.
And so, at my peril, I have made up my mind to go and join ‘French Society.’ If I can do it, anyone can! Now is the time to take the first step.
Fitness is important. There is an undeniable correlation between a sound body and a sound mind.
However, fitness often necessitates a gym membership. And it goes without saying that gyms punch a hole in your wallet and drain your time.
But there is cheaper and more enjoyable way to get fitter. Join a sporting society.
The SU consists of dozens of sport-orientated societies ranging from jogging to water sports. So, make most of the longer days and bask in the spring sunshine!
Not all sports societies are on the same membership fee bandwidth, as cricket, rugby and football societies have significantly higher membership fees. Looking at the price range, ‘The Social Badminton Squad’ membership for a half-year is only £20! Surely for a full cardio workout like that, it is worth every penny.
‘Lonely?’ ‘How can you be lonely when you are surrounded by 20,000 students?’ You might be surprised. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) 26 per cent of university students reported feeling lonely often or always, compared with 8 per cent of the adult population in Great Britain over a similar period.
Contrary to widespread belief, many students pass their time at university feeling lonely, unable to struck up friendships. This has a huge knock-on effect on the mental wellbeing of students.
Is there a better way to meet new people and friends than through a shared passion whether it is baking, jogging, or knitting? The warm centre of fist pumps, handshakes, and friendly conversations over a drink after a session is no doubt a soothing balm to beat loneliness. It is not late to make new friends or acquaintances. Go on and join a society!
Feel the empowerment
Excelling in your studies? On your way to getting honours? Well there is something else you could do to give you an enormous boost in your chosen career path.
Being able to articulate a point of view and express it in a way both lucid and arresting way is a skill that must be honed. Imagine you are thinking of a career in law, teaching or business administration; you will be expected to express your instructions clearly and with a gentle persuasion.
Joining a society like the Debating Society enables you to hone these skills over time. Remember, they are transferable skills. Whatever you gain there is an invaluable asset for your life after university.
And of course, there is also the opportunity to make your CV glisten like freshly burnished gold, even if doing so can feel slightly forced and insincere. But this is oppurtunity not to be sniffed at.
A CV featuring a wide variety of activities such as charity work, team sports and creative arts shows that you are a well-rounded individual who is equipped with the necessary life skills to navigate through real-life scenarios with relative ease: a win-win situation for all parties concerned. So why wait? Go and join a society or two. It is not too late.
Featured image: Bristol SU
Do you have an opinion on how Refreshers Week could be improved for next year? Let us know @EpigramOpinion!