Welcome (back) to university!
It's been a long time coming, possibly too long, but here it is; my first blog post as a sabbatical officer here at the Students' Union. The summer has flown by, and already we're well into the first week of lectures for our undergrad students. (But may I just take this opportunity to mention how truly excited I am to be working with such a great team in such an important year for the university).
With Surrey firmly placed amongst the top universities in the country we've got some of the best and brightest students in the country studying here. And, whilst you give yourselves a pat on the back for getting in to Surrey, don't forget that university isn't all about the hard work.
Many students (new and returning) enjoyed the festivities of Freshers' Week, the weekend of free sport and society taster sessions and our inter halls tournament. But we don't just do these things for fun (well… we do, but there's more to it than that…) We want you to leave university with more than just a degree, with skills and experiences that will eventually help you to stand out from the crowd in that sea of job applications, or enable you to discover something about yourself that you never knew you could do.
There are so many opportunities to get involved in student life here at Surrey and I literally can't list them all, but my main motive for this blog post is to reassure you, that no matter what your lecturers say, and regardless of how intensive your course is, there are always opportunities for you to take some time out from studying to do something new, creative or relaxing.
Not only does your extra-curricular activity at university help add to your CV but it will help you to de-stress. Take some time out from the brain-ache of researching those "all important" first week 'background reading' articles and you may even find that you're more productive when you come back to your study time.
We're all here for a degree, and granted that may well be a primary focus for many, but don't pass up an opportunity to try something new just because you're over working yourself.
What I love about this job is seeing people grow as they learn to live in a new environment, picking up new skills and passions that they will take with them throughout the rest of their lives. And if you're yet to try something new at Surrey, whether that be a spot of volunteering, checking out a new sport or society, or even something as simple as learning a recipe from your new international housemate (I had a Sri Lankan curry a few weeks ago… wow) then this is your cue. Don't keep putting it off, get into the habit early and try something new, just do it.
Now is the time.