By Alanna Meighan
As my first semester of final year is quickly ending and I find myself spending hours in front of my computer, trying to complete my assignments to have some free time over the holiday period, I often find myself looking back on the past three years of my time at college. Coming to UL by myself was nerve wracking, going into a big course I feared I would find it hard to make friends. I can remember the sweatiness of palms as I met my housemates the first day I moved in, all older than me. They seemed to have their friend groups and were happy to leave me to myself. My first semester I decided to attend the recruitment drive for clubs and societies, walking through the side doors of the arena, the numerous stands filled with enthusiastic people trying to convince me to join them.
With the blaring music and cheerful atmosphere, it was impossible not to smile. I was immediately drawn to people flipping and twisting in the air, otherwise known as the trampoline club. This was the first club I ever joined and I couldn’t be happier that I did. Through this club I made so many friends both within UL and other universities in Ireland and England, many of these people I would consider my closest friends despite only seeing them three of four times a year. I learned new skills that I never thought I could do; I mean twisting flips- I never imagined myself doing that! This club made me push my limits both mentally and physically to achieve those skills. This club allowed me to travel all over Ireland competing with the team and over to Scotland a few times. As the end of my first year came to a close and I had such a good experience I promised myself I would join more in my next year.
Over my four years at college, I have tried so many new activities through the clubs and societies I have joined. I decided to join the college radio society and through this I have found my career calling and my passion in life. Through my involvement with the radio and the trampoline club I found myself on committees, helping to organise events and trainings, I’ve gained valuable experience that will greatly impact my life as I move on from college. Joining these clubs and societies has really changed my life and as I get ready to leave college I realise that these are what I will miss the most, the friends and memories I have made, the skills I’ve learned will never be forgotten. I am so glad that I pushed myself to join something back in first year.
Clubs and societies have always been so important to me, I can’t imagine my college experience without being involved in them. I met so many of my best friends through them and I have found my passion in life. As I sit here writing this article during the global pandemic the things I miss the most about my life before the pandemic, is not eating out at restaurants, crawling out of Costellos at 3am or dancing the night away on the dancefloor (although I do miss them. What I miss most is sitting in the radio station talking about nothing and laughing till my stomach hurts, I miss going to training and learning new stunts and routines but most of all I miss hanging out with my friends that I met through these clubs and societies. For anyone reading this I would highly recommend joining a club or society, UL has over 80 clubs and societies and you’ll definitely find an activity that interests you and find likeminded people. Clubs and Societies have enhanced my college experience and I couldn’t imagine how different my time at college would have been without them.