GETTING involved in extracurricular activities, societies and groups are a great way to make friends at university and it looks good on your CV. Some might teach you a new skill or develop an existing one, and others might help with personal development, or stimulate your interests in areas outside of your degree subject. Here are six that you may want to get involved with.
1. Language societies
There will be societies for all sorts of languages – from the dead like Latin and Ancient Greek, to the modern and very much in use. Pick which one you fancy and away you go! A lot of the time these societies are filled with people who study that language, but it can’t hurt to join and learn from them. Usual activities include film nights, food nights, trips abroad or simply a good old chat in that language, with a cup of coffee.
2. Coding and web skills
A fantastic one to have on your CV and something that’s easy and interesting to talk about in a job interview. Even if your degree is in fine art or medicine, having shown an interest in coding and the digital world will set you out as someone who’s worth meeting when employers look at your CV. Some light experience with the subject might be handy to have when you join the society, but it’s almost guaranteed that people will take you under their wings and show you how it’s done.
3. Orchestras and music groups
Perhaps best suited to someone who can play an instrument, but there’s no reason why you can’t ask if they take beginners. Some universities have a big emphasis on music and often have the facilities to match any of the world’s greatest concert halls and opera stages. Even if you’re playing the tambourine in the background, it’s still great to be part of a big ensemble.
4. Debating teams
This might seem a bit outdated or clichéd, but joining a debate team will definitely put you miles ahead in the eyes of an employer. You might spend an hour a week trying to convince an audience that Pikachu was definitely the best Pokémon, but in reality you’ll be learning how to speak publicly, present your ideas clearly and negotiate when things aren’t going your way. Just like any company’s CEO…
5. Student council
This many also be related to student unions, student governments or any other council-like body and will give you a chance to make a difference to your university. It’ll also teach you organisation skills, how and when to compromise and how to deal with the finer points in a matter. These are all good skills to talk to employers about in a job interview.
6. Diving club
Do you watch the Olympics and marvel at Tom Daley twisting and spinning as he plunges towards the water? If so, then we have some very good news for you: it’s never too late to take something up. Joining a diving club is great not just to keep fit, but the tournaments and competitions you’ll enter will make you improve and better yourself – and isn’t that what university is all about?
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The traditional route of higher education is not for everybody. This is not a criticism on people’s intellectual abilities or their ambition, but rather on the fact that for a very long time, academia has been very...