There are many opportunities at uni to participate in activities outside your academic programme. But why should you get involved in any of them – particularly if your degree programme is very demanding or if you need to work while you study? There are many benefits to getting involved in activities, some you might not have thought about.
1. Get involved in something you love doing
If there isn’t an activity for you, you can start one. Georgina started the Taekwondo Society because she loved the sport and there wasn’t a club to join when she got here. It’s given her a sense of satisfaction to give other students the opportunity to get involved. The club is going from strength to strength – they’ve held regional fight camps and students are entering competitions and bringing home medals.
2. Create balance between working and studying
Being able to immerse yourself in a subject that you love for three years is one of the amazing things about uni. Studying will be your number one priority – get good results, get as much out of your time here as possible. But creating a balance between intellectual academic work and the things you have a passion for is key to maintaining your well-being while you are here.
Kenny is President of the African Caribbean Society, his advice is to students is to:
go for it and enjoy it as much as you can. It’s a balance between doing your (academic) work and trying to have fun.
3. Build skills for your future
Doing activities outside of your degree programme can set you up with skills you might be able to use in the future. For example, as a Student Ambassador, you gain amazing communication skills that can be transferred to any job. Communication is the number one skill employers look for. When you apply for jobs, internships or work placements, you can use real life examples of work you have done as an Ambassador and how you can communicate to different audiences.
4. Find a future you hadn’t considered before
In this lovely video, Sarah Campbell talks about how she approached her time at uni. She wanted to do more than just her degree programme and in addition to studying Psychology, she travelled, did charity work, a Music Technology course and studied languages. All of these activities helped her to understand what she was good at and what she enjoyed doing. Subsequently, they informed the direction she could take with her life after graduation.
5. Get recognition on your HEAR
If you are involved in activities that are recognised on the HEAR, ask for them to be recorded. You will leave Goldsmiths with an official document which recognises your participation in activities outside your degree programme. It’s proof that you’ve done them and you’ve gained new skills and experience. It’s a no brainer!
6. Set yourself out from the crowd
With about 70% of students graduating from uni with a first or a 2:1, a lot of students are entering the job market with the same degree classification as you. How do you set yourself apart from those who have studied the same or a similar degree, graduate with the same classification and are going for the same jobs? Your additional activities can help differentiate you from other job applicants. They can tell a fuller story of your personality, your interests as well as the skills and experience you’ve gained outside your degree programme.