I remember walking around UC market day in my first year, thinking that I would make plenty of friends at university without having to join a club. What I didn’t know is that joining a club would be the reason I made some of the best friends I’ve had in my life.

It was my third year of university when I finally decided I should look into clubs. I chose PIRaNaS, the Politics, International Relations, and National Security society. Fitting considering my degree (Bachelor of Politics and International Relations) and my clear obsession with all things political.

After just a few months I was loving every event and was elected as Vice President. I met people from a range of other clubs and soon had signed up as a member to quite a few.

So, after four years at the University of Canberra here is my number one tip: join a club, join two clubs, join all the clubs.

How to find a club:

UCX clubs
UC clubs list. Source: UCX

Finding the right club is the first step. If a club looks interesting just sign up. Memberships usually cost between $5 and $10, trust me you’ll make that back in no time. Most memberships last the entire calendar year but some, like the Canberra Law Students’ Society, offer lifetime memberships.

Head to a few events and really put yourself out there. It’s difficult, but the club’s committee is always there to welcome you in.

Normally you can find a club by wandering through the market day stalls, but this year, market day was virtual. Nevertheless you can still find all the clubs on the club home page and sign up.

You’ll need to make an account, then you can join all the clubs you want right from your dash. You can even see a list of their upcoming events and purchase merchandise.

Once you have joined a club you can start going to their events. These events will be spread across different virtual platforms as well as in person.

There are three main categories for clubs; academic, social, and cultural. All of these clubs have benefits and run a wide range of events.

Social clubs

If you’re looking for a good time and a chance to meet new people, social clubs are for you! Social Activities Club, or SAC, is UC’s largest social club and they run all kinds of events from balls to bowling nights.

Social clubs create events that you can attend with friends or alone because they spark conversation and provide the perfect opportunity to meet new people.

If you’re new to town, these clubs are a great way to put yourself out there. Plus, their events are fun (and often cheap), so you’ll have no trouble convincing that nice guy who lent you a pencil in class to come along too.

Academic clubs

As a first-year, I’ll be honest, I wrote academic clubs off. I wanted to have fun and live the university life of water fights on campus and nights out with cheap drinks. However, it turns out that some of my best nights have been at social events put on by academic clubs.

These clubs often run study help and industry events, so when it’s time to have fun they really commit. Plus we all have one thing in common, a shared interest that bought us to the club. So there is no room for awkward silences.

Heading into your later years at university you’ll be more than glad you signed up for your degrees academic club. You will meet a lot of people within your industry, get the inside scoop on what your tutors are looking for from students who have already been in their class, and getting an internship will be that much easier.

Cultural clubs

There are a lot of cultural clubs on campus. For international students, they can be a real sanctuary. Whether you’re missing home or struggling to adapt to an entirely new country and system of learning, you can. They are also a great way to learn about a new culture and meet new people.

There are a lot of cultural clubs on campus. They are a great way to learn about a new culture and meet new people. For international students that are missing home or struggling to adapt to an entirely new country, these clubs can be a real sanctuary.

UC’s cultural clubs are a huge part of the community, they are some of the most active clubs with some of the most committed members. These clubs are not to be missed!

This semester may look different compared to past years, but it doesn’t mean you can’t have the amazing university experience you envisioned for 2020. Part of university life is meeting new people, making friends and having fun.

So how can you make this a reality?

I think it’s obvious, through joining a club!

Trust me, you won’t regret it.

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