Beginning your first year at university can be an emotional rollercoaster. You gain complete independence, living away from home for the first time in an environment that challenges you academically and personally. Terrelle Iziren, a third-year Politics and International Relations student, explains four ways Goldsmiths students can get more our of their university experience by engaging with their community.
What would University be without societies? Mixed Hockey, Volleyball, Acting, and Filmmaking, are just a few of the student-run societies Goldsmiths has to offer. I am currently the sports editor at The Leopard, one of Goldsmiths’ two student newspapers. The sports editorial team cover loads of great events including “This Girl Can”, a national sports campaign encouraging female participation in sport. We’re all impatiently looking forward to the annual Varsity tournament against UAL (University of the Arts, London) next spring. Joining societies is a great way to meet new people across many different Departments, and learn new leadership, teamwork, and digital editing skills.
Looking to earn some extra cash so you won’t need to dip into your overdraft? Aside from the more obvious jobs in retail and pubs, there are many other opportunities in sectors like PR, hospitality and events. During my first year at Goldsmiths, I worked as a student marketer for a London-based marketing company. I pitched a “Get Into Teaching” campaign in partnership with the Department of Education, promoting teaching careers to Goldsmiths students – I loved being able to support others by informing them of potential full-time job opportunities after graduation. Ultimately, it is best to choose a part-time job that makes you happy, and fits in well with your studies.
Homelessness and poverty are growing national issues. In 2017, Lewisham Council reported that over 1800 of the borough’s residents were in temporary accommodation, a 96% increase over 2011. Goldsmiths’ Careers Service hosts volunteering job fairs in the autumn and spring terms, welcoming various local charities, including Lewisham Local, Citizen Advice Lewisham and Action for Refugees in Lewisham. Citizens Advice Lewisham offer local residents advice on housing, welfare benefits, and debt related issues. I volunteered at Goldsmiths Students’ Union as a welcome week assistant during freshers’ week in my second-year, helping new students settle in on campus, which was a great experience.
If you would like to volunteer for one of these charities, speak to the Careers Service at Goldsmiths, or contact the charities directly.
A personal development programme led by Goldsmiths’ Careers Service, the Gold Award is an excellent platform for students to keep record of their extra-curricular activities. It helps enhance your written, analytical and critical thinking skills by having you reflect on your progress throughout the year. Participating in the programme between 2017 and 2018 helped me become more analytical in my academic and extra-curricular activities. Networking and collaborating with other students, and organisations such as professional services firm FDM Group, also gave me greater insight into what to expect during my final year at university, and my post-graduation opportunities.