Moving to university can be one of the biggest challenges of your life, leaving home comforts and having to fend for yourself in an unfamiliar place is understandably unnerving. The added pressure of joining a sports club can seem like an unnecessary stress however it’ll most likely be the perfect way to ease you into your new uni life. Joining a club has so many extra additional benefits that once you’ve joined and you’re in the swing of things, you’ll wish you’d joined in sooner.
Good For Mental Health
It’s often been proven that engaging in exercise can have a positive effect on your mental wellbeing as it helps to release serotonin and endorphins in the brain. It can generally make you feel better about yourself, take your mind off missing friends and family back at home and can give you manageable and immediate goals that are not necessarily there in the duration of your academic studies.
Joining a sports team can give anyone a real sense of belonging, community and support, especially during big team matches and annual Varsity tournaments, it can be a real home-from-home, so give it a real chance!
Great Way To Make Friends
When you move away from home and start university, most of the time you’re not going to know anyone, so joining a sports club is a great way to meet new and like-minded people. Instead of staying cooped in your room worrying about making friends or simply avoiding the subject altogether, get out there and join in!
Plus, it’s a well-known fact that sports clubs often have regular social meet-ups outside of training sessions and matches. It’s great to make extra friends outside of your course subject and your flatmates, you can never make enough friends at uni! You’ll most likely meet people from different backgrounds, cultures and races, you can learn a lot. Sport can be a fully immersive sport, especially at uni, so even if it’s just a kickabout down at the football goals, give it a go.
This is a standard benefit of engaging in sports at uni, but it can be the key to so much more than just massively improving your fitness levels and strengthening your stamina. It can also be a preventative measure against all those uni coughs and colds or the dreaded ‘freshers flu’. Getting outside in the fresh air can help to strengthen your immune system and eqip your body with some of the things it needs to fight off infection and illness. Be fighting fit during your time at university and you’ll enjoy it a lot more.
Influence Academia With A Regular Sports Structure
When you start university it’s so easy to get into the groove of a bad routine with drinking, poor diet and sustained sleep deprivation. It’s easy to see how this can happen, with some courses not having loads of contact hours, it can be hard to motivate yourself academically.
However, by engaging in a sport with weekly or bi-weekly training, as well as matches, it can help to give your life some much-needed structure and it’s often said that the busier you are, the more you can get done. Adding the regular buzz, thrill and achievement element of sport to your weekly schedule could help improve your academic achievements and sense of concentration.
Something For Everyone
It might be worth looking at the types of sports that your university offer before you start so you can do some research. Most uni’s offer a wide variety of sport to choose from, everything from snowboarding to windsurfing, so there’s bound to be something for you. Draw up a list of the ones you’d be willing to give a go. Usually, in freshers week, uni sports clubs put on taster sessions, sometimes they are free and occasionally there’s a small charge.
Try to go as many as you can and give it a chance, even if you feel daunted by the prospect, most people are in the same boat. Don’t worry if you don’t think you’re going to be the best, most sports teams cater to different levels of ability by having first, second and third teams (and so on). Be a yes person and open yourself up to amazing sporting experiences at uni!
Discover An Unexpected Career Path
You may start off taking part in a sport and find that it quickly becomes your main passion. Doing things that are outside of your comfort zone or main ‘interests’ can be an eye-opening, exhilarating experience. You may end up changing your course for something more sports related or it may even help steer you towards a different post-graduate path, job prospects or voluntary course during or after your university experience is over.
We don’t think there’s any reason why you wouldn’t join a sports team after reading all those great benefits. While the initial push might be scary and daunting, most others are in the same situation as you, so just go for it!