With so many clubs on campus, it can be intimidating trying to find the right one for you. I remember attending Clubs Days during my first O’Week and being overwhelmed with all the different clubs I could join. Thankfully I’ve learnt from my mistakes, and I’m excited to share a few handy tips to help you find the perfect club for you.
Do your research online
The UMSU website has a handy list of all the affiliated clubs, which can be sorted either alphabetically or by club category. On this website you can read about each of the different clubs on campus. You can also access their social media pages and contact details so you can learn more about them.
There are nine different categories of clubs available on campus, ranging from Community Service to Food & Beverage, and from Course Related to Sports & Games. Visiting this website is a great first step to get a basic understanding of the variety of clubs on offer – and to see the sort of ones you might be interested in.
Talk to ALL THE CLUBS during O’Week
There are so many clubs on campus that there are two Clubs Days happening during O’Week. The first is on Thursday the 25th and the second on Friday the 26th of February, each with completely different clubs. Clubs will be setting up stalls, holding little games, offering freebies, and waiting to tell you why their club is the best.
To me, one of the best things about the Clubs Days is the opportunity to talk to people who are actually part of the club. These people are volunteering their time to represent their clubs at O’Week, so they are clearly passionate about their club and what their club offers. They’re the best people to talk to so you can gain an understanding of what happens in each of the clubs.
Many clubs offer freebies if you sign up to be a member then and there! I stocked up on everything from vouchers to kiwi fruits when I signed up for club memberships in my first O’Week. Uni life is hectic, so Clubs Days provide you with the easiest opportunity to sign up to become a member. Membership normally costs anywhere from a gold coin to $10+ depending on the type of clubs you’re looking at joining. You can definitely make that money back through free food and cheap access to events. There’s no limit to the number of clubs you can join!
Attend club events
If Clubs Days don’t give you a good enough indication of what clubs you want to join, events are the next best thing! Clubs hold a huge variety of events throughout semester. These are often open to non-members as well as members (although members normally get cheaper tickets to ticketed events). You can attend things like club BBQs to meet some people from the clubs and learn more about their other events.
Don’t be scared to get involved, even if none of your friends are!
Clubs are an amazing way to meet new friends at university. It can sometimes be awkward making friends in classes, particularly if you only see them once a week. With Clubs though, you’re already halfway there to meeting a new friend. Whenever you talk to someone in the same club as you, you already know you have a shared interest, since that’s why they’re in that club in the first place! From there, I’ve found it easier to make great friends from across different faculties.
Clubs often recruit for their committees early in the year. It can be daunting applying to be a part of a committee, particularly if you feel you’re not good enough for the role. The great thing about clubs is that they look for passion over skills, and enthusiasm over experience. If you’re willing to learn and passionate to get involved, then you’re a perfect fit for a committee. I joined my first committee at the start of first year, and it opened up opportunities for me to meet people from across the university, and gain so many new skills. I went on to become Vice-President of that club and also got involved with other clubs. Later, I put these skills into practice in work for not-for-profits.
None of that would’ve happened for me if I hadn’t given it a go, so my biggest tip for you is to get as involved as possible. The best way to find out which club is right for you is just to experience a bit of them all and give it a shot!