The best thing about university is the amount of time you have and that you have complete freedom to choose how to spend that time. There’s 168 hours in a week and considering most courses don’t venture much above 18 hours of lectures a week that leaves you with 150 hours every single week which are totally YOURS.
What you choose to do with that time is completely up to you and with the huge variety of opportunities available at Leeds University and in Leeds you have no excuse to not use it.
With those 150 hours you obviously need to fit in sleeping, eating, studying and a fair bit of socialising but it’s the extra stuff that you really remember.
In my first two years at university I captained a 5-a-side football team to league victory, took an EU funded residential course in sustainability, volunteered with Leeds Friends of the Earth, was a mentor to students in the year below, worked with ‘Engineers Without Borders’, passed a motion through the ‘Better University Forum’, gained coaching qualifications and ran sport sessions to multi faith youth groups and disadvantaged kids in east Leeds.
Time well spent.
While in Leeds I also joined a local Hockey club in Adel and have made a large group of friends outside of university and feel more a part of Leeds rather than just a visitor. As it turns out, I am now captain and am really proud and happy to be part of the club.
In my summers I worked for an organisation called The Challenge running the National Citizen Service (NCS). As a Senior Mentor I looked after a group of 12 sixteen-year olds over a 3 week programme, working with people from different backgrounds and ages opens your eyes to different cultures and opinions compared to university.
I used the money from this experience to inter-rail around Europe and in the next summer travel to the Philippines with AIESEC.
And now it’s time to talk about AIESEC. In the Philippines I volunteered with students from countries across the globe on Project Unplug to help with the power crisis in Davao in the Philippines. The experience was, to say the least, incredible. I made friends from all over the world, who I still keep in touch with, wrote a research paper for the department of energy, coached the local junior football side and travelled to some incredible places.
That whole project was setup by AIESEC students at university in the Philippines and likewise we do the same here. So I came back inspired and joined the wonderful AIESEC Leeds. I have developed so much from being part of this society, been to business networking events and made some fantastic friends.
Finally now in my last year of Energy Engineering I have found myself as president of the Enterprise Society and starting my own business with the support of the careers centre SPARK service.
Taking all of this in, university is never a straight path and the variety of activities you can become involved with is outstanding and you never know where those opportunities will take you. Make the most of the hours you have available and you will surprise yourself with what you can achieve and how many other wonderful people you will meet on the way.
If you have any questions about any of the organisations I have mentioned feel free to leave a comment.