Sponsored feature, words by Fay Millar
University isn’t just about studying for a degree, it’s also the perfect opportunity to try something new. There are literally hundreds of clubs and societies you can get involved with and Freshers’ Week is the perfect time to find out all about them.<br>
According to <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.lboro.ac.uk/" target="_blank">Loughborough University</a>, the effects of being involved in extra-curricular activities last long after your degree has finished, increasing your chances of landing a dream job and creating lasting passions and lifelong friendships.<br>

They’ve put together eight reasons why getting involved is a must.<br>
<h3>1. Try something new</h3> <img width="40%" align="right" src="https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/w/images/6/6d/LSU-colour-dash2.jpg" alt="LSU Colour Dash" style="margin-right: 20px; margin-left: 20px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;">
Clubs and societies are a great way to try something new. If you fancy a go at belly dancing, or want to try mountaineering, societies are the right place to go – you might not get another opportunity like it.<br>
Loughborough University has 118 societies ranging from Harry Potter and hot air ballooning, to debating, Disney and darts. There are also a variety of culture and faith societies such as the Sikh Society, the Nigerian Society and the Christian Union. <br>
<h3>2. Complement your degree</h3>
There are many co-curricular societies which will compliment your degree such as psychology or finance. If you’re studying for a degree in such areas, joining a society can help boost your knowledge and your chances of achieving a 2:1 or even a first.<br>
<h3>3. Challenge yourself</h3> <img width="40%" align="right" src="https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/w/images/1/11/Netball-team2.jpg" alt="Netball team" style="margin-right: 20px; margin-left: 20px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;">
University isn’t meant to be easy; it’s a time to challenge yourself and really aim high. Joining a society can be a great way to get your brain working and get you involved in projects that really make a difference in the wider community.<br>
At Loughborough there are societies such as <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.lsu.co.uk/society/ThinkTank/" target="_blank">Think Tank</a> or <a rel="nofollow" href="http://enactus.org/" target="_blank">Enactus</a>, which are meant to be difficult! Think Tank is a student-led group which aims to develop policy ideas that will lead to a better society and stronger economy. Enactus strives to raise the standard of life and quality of living for those in need.
<h3>4. A good use of your free time</h3>
When you are a student, you have A LOT of time free to do things – societies are perfect to fit around your lectures and weekends. <br>
<h3>5. A great way to stay fit</h3> <img width="40%" align="right" src="https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/w/images/e/e9/Hockey-club2.jpg" alt="Hockey club" style="margin-right: 20px; margin-left: 20px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;">
There are 57 Athletic Union(AU) clubs on offer at Loughborough with everything from Ultimate Frisbee and Lifesaving to Athletics, Lacrosse and Water Polo. The university is renowned for sport, so a lot of the AU clubs will have elite players from all over the country. <br>
For example, one of their former hockey club captains was Giselle Ansley who has just won a gold medal out in Rio, and Ian Sloan (Men’s Hockey) was a former coach too. This can be an incredible chance to develop your skills and network with some amazing sports players. <br>
Sport clubs are also a great way to stay active and keep fit. The pressures of keeping up your studies, social life, a healthy amount of sleep, and maybe even a part-time job can easily start to build up and sport is the perfect way to relieve that. <br>
<h3>6. Meet new people</h3>
Sports clubs and societies are very social. After matches or competitions, it is common for the team to go and enjoy a night out together to celebrate. It is a great way of expanding your friendship group. <br>
It isn’t all about drinking either. For example, at Loughborough, there are also things like the hockey team’s Friday night pasta club to carb up before a match on Saturday.<br>
<img width="40%" align="right" src="https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/w/images/c/c6/LSU-media2.jpg" alt="LSU media" style="margin-right: 20px; margin-left: 20px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;">
<h3>7. Continue your passions</h3>
If you’re passionate about something, be it politics or horse riding, clubs and societies are a great way to continue those passions. If you want to get into politics, then there is the Conservative Future Society or the Labour Society. If you like chess, join the chess club, if you were a keen rugby player at college get involved with the rugby club.<br>
<h3>8. Improve your job prospects</h3>
Being a member of a club or society, or getting involved in the Students’ Union can add real value to your CV. In sports clubs you develop skills like team work, motivation and resilience. In societies you might find you improve your collaboration, debating, public speaking and communication skills – all things which are attractive to future employers.<br>
Employers like seeing people use their initiative, showing dedication and displaying unique skills – it shows you didn’t just party your way through university.