3 Reasons You Should Join a Student Association
By Pauline Dizon
One of the first things I did when I started at Griffith was to trawl the Griffith Clubs and Societies website for clubs that I could join. I didn’t know anyone when I started, and I knew that I needed friends (pronto). Alas, I found out very quickly that we do not have a student club for Biomedical Science. Fast forward to a year and a half later and I am now the President of the Griffith University Biomedical Student Association (GUBSA).
Let’s rewind a bit. The team and I founded GUBSA because we saw the need for representation.
We wanted to provide a community and promote opportunities for students like us. We wanted to meet like-minded people and chat about all things Biomedical Science (unfortunately, my partner does not find proteins as interesting as I do). We remembered our first-year journey and thought – hey, future students would be going through the same things we did. So we started a club, online, in the middle of a pandemic.
So we started a club, online, in the middle of a pandemic.
If you are a university student, I encourage you to join a student club (especially if you are in your first year). Here are 3 reasons why:
1. Make new friends from Day 1!
One of the best ways to make friends in university is to join a student club that aligns with your interest. Most clubs will organise a number of social events during a trimester and these are a fantastic way to meet fellow students. The conversation never runs dry – you can chat about university life, a topic of interest (we love everything Biomedical Science in GUBSA), or just hang-out over a game or two.
Club events are also a fantastic way to meet students beyond your current year level. One of the best pieces of advice I can give to new students would be to talk to people who are further along in their university career. You will find that most are more than happy to share their university tips and tricks – especially over a hot beverage!
2. Build genuine connections that will last after your degree
Build a strong network early in your degree by attending academic and professional events run by your student association. For example, one of our major goals for GUBSA is to establish an annual networking night that will allow students to meet academics and industry professionals in health and science related fields. Most student associations will also run employability workshops, alumni panels, and career advice sessions. This is your chance to meet people in your chosen field! I encourage you to build genuine connections whilst you are at university so that you can tap into these once you finish your degree.
3. Develop essential skills and load up that resume
If you want to get involved beyond attending events, why not join a club committee? Working in a committee helps develop a plethora of skills: leadership, communication, time-management, and (most importantly) teamwork. These skills are transferrable to any workplace and will be a fantastic addition to your growing resume. Your student association will help you transition into a leadership role through various coaching programs. For example, GUBSA members can apply for junior leadership roles in preparation for committee positions. Don’t be afraid to ask about, and apply, for these opportunities!
I hope this helped convince you to give student clubs a go! Don’t forget that university is more than academics. Aim for a holistic university experience that will allow you to grow as an individual and stand-out from the crowd. Personally, working with the rest of the GUBSA team has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my university journey so far. I hope you also find your university experience just as rewarding.