So U Want to Get Involved? (U-Week 2015)

Image: Reanna Clark

As a first year, I’ve discovered that while the freedom associated with being a uni student is awesome, it can be a bit daunting suddenly finding yourself in an environment with no set schedule. It also takes a lot of courage to strike up a conversation with a totally new person.

If you’re feeling the same way, I’ve found being involved in clubs and activities has really given me a confidence boost, and great new friends.

‘U Week’ was held in Week 2, centred on promoting ways to get involved in the University of Melbourne Student Union (UMSU). There was a performance by ‘The Delta Riggs’, free fairy floss and cupcakes, a ‘Big Bazaar’ for selling second-hand items in North Court, a barbeque and numerous student volunteers around to answer questions.

Within my first semester I have had the chance to be involved in a range of UMSU activities and events, and there is still more I would like to try out in the future, such as the student theatre!

Clubs are a great way to meet new people, as sharing a common interest is a great conversation starter. Some of my favourites are: M-ASS (Arts Students Society), Envi (Environments Students Society) and the French Club. It’s a good idea to ‘subscribe’ to club events via their Facebook page (as well as the general UMSU Activities page) to find out what’s coming up to get involved in! Different clubs have different events, but casual events, such BBQs, as well as the more extravagant parties and balls are popular.

Another union-related event I loved was Destination Melbourne. This is a first-year orientation program which I went to in late January. It was awesome staying at St Hilda’s College, doing an amazing race around the city and making amazing new friends. It’s on every year, and I would love to return as a host next year (fingers crossed!). I often meet people around uni, and when we find out we both went to DM we instantly have something to bond over, it’s great!

Image: Author's own

Image: Author’s own

It was fun to try something new and help out at club events in my first semester. I had a chat with UMSU Activities Officer James Baker, who also started out helping out at events, and now loves his role as the Activities Officer: “Being involved in UMSU is something that I began through volunteering programs, coming in through clubs, and realising how much fun can be had at university, alongside the academic side.  I couldn’t recommend getting involved enough, it has been the highlight of my life so far!”

Your SSAF contributes to the activities run by the Union, so it’s well worth making the most of what’s on offer! Some upcoming events are Mudfest (20th-29th August) and a Cocktail Party on the 26th of  August. Of course, you can have a look at their website for all the upcoming events.

In my first year, I really want to say “yes” to every opportunity and get involved as much as I can! There are plenty of ways – you just have to know where to look.

Hope everyone has had a great start to second semester!

– Bella

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