More than just a degree: Why it pays to get involved with extra-curricular activities

Let’s be honest, the university workload can be intense, and frankly quite isolating. Whether you’re someone who prides themselves on their friendliness, or whether you’re someone who finds making friends hard. Moving away from home and from normality is daunting. Getting involved with extra-curricular activities can be healthy and finding something of interest to do isn’t an issue at Keele.

Keele’s Students’ Union (KeeleSU) is the primary source of extra-curricular activities on campus, and is the hub for societies. List of which is endless and spreads across sport, religion, culture, the arts and more. For many people, joining a society is a way of continuing an activity they did at home, which helps keep some familiarity in the drastic new routine of uni life. This also means that from the outset you are socialising with people aside from your course and flatmates. This can have such a positive impact in widening your horizon, and makes the jump to university less daunting by mixing with people who’ve been through it in the years before in a setting in which you are all equals. Alternatively, societies are also great opportunity to try something new! Since first year is a new beginning, it’s the perfect occasion to take a leap of faith – and with Wednesday afternoons at Keele being dedicated to societies you won’t have the worry of arranging your time around uni work!

The SU also runs hugely popular nights out across the top floor of the building. Of course, nights out aren’t for everyone and there are regular Musical Bingo, Karaoke and Quiz nights – all of which are a chilled way of spending time with people. In fact, the quiz nights are often ‘taken-over’ by societies, and I found this a great way of supporting my flat/course mates’ societies and vice-versa.

While these are all SU led, there are other ways to get involved through the university itself. Being a student ambassador is a great way of showing your pride for being a Keele student and getting to know parts of campus you may not have visited before. Furthermore, Keele provides the opportunity for students to get involved in multiple campaigns – those currently running are #NeverOK and Green Keele. Over and above the social benefits of getting involved, these campaigns are a great way for students to make an impact regarding something they are passionate about… not to mention that it looks good on your CV! It’s very easy to go through university mixing only with your course mates and/or flatmates, which makes the benefits to joining a society unquestionable… and the Freshers Fair on Monday and Tuesday of Freshers week makes joining even easier.

Concourse is Keele University’s independent student-run publication and has a long history of promoting student journalism. Having been established in 1964, Concourse has become an important part of the university and has been read by generations of Keelites.

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