1. Making Friends
I know many of you are excited to start university and begin your next chapter. I also know, being once in the same place as you, that this can be quite a daunting time, especially with the looming thoughts of not knowing anyone, and wondering if and how you will make friends.
Fear not. You are not alone!
It sounds cliché to tell you that joining a sports club will enable you to meet new people and make friends. But, it is very much true.
Being a member of the social and tennis team for the duration of my time at university has made me many lifelong friends, all of which I cannot imagine my time at university without. Whether you’re a fresher or a third year, new people are always turning up – so don’t ever feel like it’s too late to join because many students will participate for the first time. The great thing about joining a sports club, whether competitive or just for fun, is that there is no obligation to go out of your way to be social, and I’m not just making that up! Having helped lead the social tennis sessions, I have had a first-hand perspective on how even just actively participating and enjoying yourself will help build rapport and friendships with other students. All of the games we play are predominantly team-based and fun, so that itself will facilitate conversations, my favourite game being Texas tennis!
Belonging to a sports club brings many perks. One of them being all of the social events you get to attend. Don’t worry, all events are planned in mind to be inclusive to everyone. Whether you drink or don’t drink, everyone can enjoy them. My all-time favourite social event was our Christmas event which we had on campus. Our Christmas social, hosted by our fabulous social secretaries (Ellis and Rory), was a blast. Everyone was made to dress as elves, which, trust me, was a sight that none of us will ever forget! As part of the many selection of tasks, we were made to go around campus and take pictures with something beginning with every letter of the alphabet under a strict time limit! A notable mention goes to bowling which will always have a special place in my heart because I full-heartedly made everyone believe I was a bowling prodigy for about a month before the fantasy was over…
2. Exercise and Wellbeing
It is no surprise that university can be stressful, especially during exam season. You may find it hard to balance studying alongside managing your free time. Stress can have many adverse effects on your health, body and mind, ultimately not benefitting your studies. The best thing you can do is spare an hour or two and get some physical activity for your wellbeing. Joining a sports club, like tennis, means you can turn up and participate in one of the multitudes of sessions running during the day or evening throughout the week, for example, cardio tennis, social tennis or tennis Xpress. Exercise improves overall wellbeing by releasing endorphins – feel-good hormones, putting you in a much better mood and ironically leaving you with more energy than before, encouraging productivity and happy studying! Seeing your friends and socialising alongside exercising gives you even more of a pump. In my own experience, when I had a long day filled with assignments and work, I always looked forward to a tennis session as I knew I could give myself a break from the books and enjoy myself. When I returned to my room afterwards, I would be able to concentrate and achieve more significant amounts than before.
Not many people realise how many great opportunities open up to you after you join a sports club, including trips, free courses, training, and paid and unpaid work. Whilst studying, I had the opportunity to tennis coach for roughly eight hours per week, which meant I didn’t need to find a job outside the university. Even though I already had my tennis coaching qualifications to be able to coach, the university also holds free courses on campus worth more than £300! These opportunities have equipped and will equip many students with the skills to coach and progress at and outside the university, helping them in future employment. Not to mention all of these different courses and qualifications look great on your CV.
As I write this, social and tennis members have been offered free tickets to attend the Glasgow Davis Cup in September to cheer on Great Britain! We absolutely can’t wait!
For more information on the wide range of sport and exercise Roehampton offers and how you can get involved please follow the link below. You can also follow @SportRoe on Instagram for all the latest updates and events!
The University of Roehampton changes lives by helping our students to develop the confidence, knowledge and values they need for a successful and fulfilling life. We produce world-class research that helps us understand the world and change it for the better.