By Charlie Batten
You may be thinking you missed your chance to get involved in societies and now you’re in your room bored all the time. Well fear not, Refreshers week has got you covered.
As many of you know, this week is Refreshers week which gives everyone a chance to look at what different societies offer and other things on campus. There’s a variety of events going on such as: a leave no trace disco night, a late-night café, a pub quiz at Northfield bar, a farmer’s market and of course the Refreshers fair.
The fair gives a great chance for you to look at all the different societies we have at Sussex and speak to those in it. Speaking to the people in the society is vital as it means you’ll be able to learn more about it and find out if it’s the right one for you. A great part of being in a society is that it means you get to meet a lot of great people and it means that you have something to do.
A big problem for a lot of first years and even some older students is that they can sometimes feel like they have nothing to do in their down time because they don’t know many people. Joining a society gives you the ideal opportunity to get out and do something. I’ve made great friends from being in the dodgeball society and I look forward to every Saturday at 1 where I get to throw balls at other people.
For many of you, your new year’s resolutions will be maybe to lose some weight or exercise more, if this is you, look no further than active us. They’re having a week of free sports so all you have to do is turn up. Whether you want to do football, basketball, archery, cricket or my personal favourite, dodgeball you can have a go for free.
These sessions are a lot more relaxed then the actual teams as anyone can go along, so it doesn’t matter if you played football for Fulham’s under 14’s or just kicked the ball around with your mates at break time, you can go along and play.
It also gives you a chance to take up something new that you wouldn’t normally do. For example, you could join the ballroom and Latin dancing society or the guitar society. Your time at university doesn’t have to be just attending lectures and meeting deadlines but it can be about learning new skills and finding things that you actually that you never got to enjoy when you were back home.
A lot of you may want to take part in societies but feel nervous because you would be effectively joining a group of strangers. Well as someone who’s been in that exact position, I can tell you that theirs nothing to fear. I knew only two people when I came to Sussex and they lived on opposite ends of campus and I was incredibly nervous about joining a society and not fitting in. In the end there was no need for me to worry because everyone as so accommodating and welcoming that I now feel that I’m part of a big family even if I’ve only been here for 4 months.
Another option for foreign students is to join the society of your nationality. This kind of gives you a home away from home which can help make Sussex feel like home because now you have more people who you can relate to.
If truth be told, I am writing this article about new societies and refreshers week so that it will hopefully motivate me to get out there and be involved in some new activities. It is oh so easy to just stay in your little group, do the same few things and not change everything because you are comfortable in the routine. However, when there is so much on offer here then you’re really doing yourself a disservice to refuse to get involved. So, I look forward to meeting a few of you at dodgeball and hopefully my new passion, Latin ballroom dancing.