As January draws ever closer, now is the time to start thinking about what you want to achieve in your resolutions. Do you want to learn a new skill or perhaps meet some new people? These are just some of the many things that you can achieve by getting involved in societies and extra-curricular activities outside of your studies.
Being a part of an extra-curricular group who are interested in similar things to you and wish to reach shared goals can be one of the best experiences which comes with studying. Particularly at university, there are so many different clubs and societies to get involved with. At present I am part of the music and feminist societies, both of which have led me to learn so much about topics which have gradually become central to my own academic work whilst providing me with some down time from the stress of deadlines. This is my first tip when it comesto choosing your own activities – make sure you choose something which is interesting and helps provide a balance in your day to day life each week. Having something to look forward to makes everything so much easier on a whole.
In addition to finding things which you are interested in, also aim to enter into an area that you want to know more on but don’t really know anything about at the moment (a great way to implement new years resolutions a la the Re-freshers fair). For me this will most likely take the form of the netball team as I haven’t played netball since highschool, but want to be a part of a sports team as it seems a great way to make new friends whilst staying healthy. It might turn out after a few weeks that this particular skill isn’t for me, but in the long run I will earn so much from trying something outside of my comfort zone and putting into practice a different skill set than I;m used to: It certainly trains adaptability and versatility, which are both essential to finding a good work place after graduation.
And finally, to return to what I touched on earlier, make sure that you do treat your extra-curricular activities as something fun and use them as an opportunity to take a break from the hectic chaos that is studying a degree. Of course we love our subjects and doing what we do, but there are days when all of us need a break so it’s important to make sure we’re slotting them in when we can (especially before the deadline season takes over everything). I’m always so grateful to be able to go and have conversations about things that matter or things which are new to me because in doing so, I really give myself the chance to speak to other people who aren’t in my immediate sphere. It also reminds me that I’m not alone in my stress and getting out of that bubble is crucial to rejecting isolation and all things negative that can come with feeling that way. Because yes, everything looks good on a CV but , having friends for life and monitoring how much you’re doing on a regular basis by breaking things up are far more important in the long run when it comes to you and how you live your life.