I have always had a busy life at university, and this has been in part due to my extra-curricular activities. At the end of the first year of my undergraduate degree (which was in politics, by the way) I had been elected president of a society, become an inclusions officer for two other societies, and was a member of a committee that organised events on campus. I kept all of this up and took on even more roles in my second and third years, some with the same committees, others with new ones. One of the main reasons I have always done so many extra activities was because of my timetable. As a politics student you don't have many contact hours and once the work for the week has been finished I used to get bored quickly, so these societies and committee positions were perfect for me as they kept me busy every night of the week.
Now it's important to note that this isn't for everyone, as the commitments and always having a busy week can be quite stressful. But I have always preferred the stress of being busy to the boredom of having nothing to do! This is why I decided to continue to be part of societies and committees during my postgraduate studies. This year I am actually more involved than I was before! This has really helped me and if you are moving from third year to a postgraduate course then it could help you too. After my undergraduate degree was over a lot changed: a lot of my friends moved away, my course was completely different and I was living in a new house. However, being involved in extra-curricular activities provided me with a feeling of continuity. I was still engaging in something that had been such a big part of my undergraduate life and it made it feel like less of a transition to being a postgrad.
I have loved the roles I have had and the people I have worked with. The variety of things I have been involved in have ensured I have had such an amazing time at university and the skills I have gained have helped me so much when looking for work and in other areas of life. So, if you have some free time in your week, want to keep busy or just fancy trying something different, why not join a committee or a society? I guarantee that it will make your university life richer, more enjoyable and give you some amazing memories.
Sam Toombs, MA Early Modern History