It was Halloween a few days ago, and if you take part in activities on campus, then you’re still recovering from all of the fun you had. I myself attended a pub night and carried out a laborious bake sale for a campus organization I’m part of, Students for Barrier Free Access. As I was enjoying the free snacks at the pub night and slaving away at the oven, I began to realize that these kinds of events aren’t just about having fun, but about building relationships with your peers on both a professional and social level.
If you are attending school full time, then that means most of your time at school is spent indoors, day dreaming about freedom (hehe). And, if you’re lucky, then you get to spend time with your peers discussing the mechanics of a fusel cell or debating whether or not you think your professor is an easy marker. When do we have time to just be? That’s why joining a student group on campus is so important because it means you can relax and take a break from the heaviness of school. Even more, it is a catalyst for social connection as you develop your interpersonal skills while working as part of a team, but also just feeling like you are a member of the community. For various reasons, student clubs are really important.
As a member of SBA I get to work as part of a collective towards a common goal: making the campus more accessible for students with a wide range of barriers. Complex issues such as discussing student concerns and affecting change, to organizing fun events like movie nights, are examples of the wonderfully challenging experiences of being part of a student-run organization. At the same time, I get to build relationships with my peers, people who I never would have met had it not been for SBA. I consider my fellow SBA’ers both great people and great friends.
So, you’re probably wondering, how do I just join a club? Well, I had the same thoughts a while back, and I’ll share a secret with you . . . it isn’t that hard or scary. The number one source for finding student groups that appeal to certain interests is Student Life. Ever considered taking an archery course? How about learning origami or sharing your passion for the environment with other like-minded students? Student Life is like your gateway to fulfilling a passion or just trying something out for the heck of it. The website is easy to navigate and will often link to facebook pages where you can see upcoming events for the group you clicked.
Moving along, you know all those listervs you’re part of (and probably delete)? Well, those often include social events or groups that are always looking for members. That’s how I found SBA, and I’m pleased to say I’ve been a member for more than a year thus far. Another way to locate groups is to actually pay attention to the superfluous amounts of flyers you see tacked up everywhere, or just by word of mouth.
Ok, so now you have a group you’re interested in, and you go to an event, but you don’t know anybody. So what! Think of it this way, probably a lot of students are in the same boat as you, or at one point were. All it takes is a hello to start a conversation. Get to know you’re fellow students and before you know it you’ll never miss a great event again.