Finding Your Place: How Joining a University Club Can Change Your Experience
Being a part of a student group during university years is a valuable experience that can significantly benefit a student’s academic and personal life. Joining a student group allows students to connect with peers with similar interests and passions, creating a sense of community and a supportive network.
The following students shared their journey of getting involved with student groups, how it impacted their university journey, and advice for students trying to get involved!
Lekha Patel is a second-year nursing student at the University of Windsor. She is actively involved in campus events and is currently the second-year representative of the e Nursing Society, the volunteer coordinator for the mental health association, and an executive member of LEAD.
“I think joining clubs can be so beneficial to your university experience. For me, joining clubs has helped me make many connections and close friends. Some of my best university experiences steamed from club events,” said Patel.
Patel mentioned how intimidating it gets to join a club while maintaining school and work. But sometimes, these clubs can help you focus more on your career too.
“I joined the nursing society for my career. I wanted to join a club that was focused on my program so I could find like-minded people who have a similar passion as me. I remember getting emails from students in the club about applying for positions and I took the opportunity,” said Patel.
When asked how a student can get into this club, Patel said, “To join this club, you can follow their Instagram, @uwinnursingsoc to see when the application dates open.”
The Mental Health Association is a club that fundraises for different mental health causes and promotes positive mental health. Their Instagram is filled with some great education about different mental health disorders and mindful techniques.
“Mental Health Association is a club I joined for my interest. You can find them @uwinmentalhealth on Instagram and join the team,” said Patel.
LEAD is a program run under Student Success and Leadership Centre that runs volunteer programs. It provides experiential learning opportunities for students by connecting them with fellow undergraduate students. LEAD mentors then run events like Welcome Week, Open House, and Head Start by promoting campus spirit amongst the incoming students in the university.
“It’s a great opportunity to meet new people and make lifelong friends. I can honestly say that I met many of my closest friends by joining LEAD. LEAD offers team-building events such as bowling and arcade nights to strengthen team relationships. Not only is this club informative, but it is a lot of fun,” said Patel.
“You can also follow their Instagram @uwinlead or look online at success.uwindsor.ca to find different available positions,” advised Patel to join LEAD.
Amanda Leraci is a third-year Psychology student at the University of Windsor. She is involved in the Psychology Students Association (PSA) as an event coordinator and Jack.org as a general volunteer.
“Both of these clubs support amazing causes and help shed light on the importance of bringing awareness to mental health. Being involved with both clubs has provided me with wonderful experiences that allowed me to become more involved in the campus community while meeting so many amazing people,” said Leraci.
The University of Windsor’s psychology students founded the Psychology Students’ Association (PSA). PSA hosts a variety of activities including bake sales, karaoke nights, trivia nights, professional panels, etc. They design and organize events for students and give psychology students the chance to network with other students and teachers by offering them helpful volunteer opportunities.
Leraci informed us, “This year the PSA supported the Canadian Mental Health Association by raising funds through various events. Additionally, we offered opportunities for students to get involved on and off campus.”
Jack.org is a Canadian charity organization training and empowering young leaders to revolutionize mental health. It aims to work with young people to teach them about mental health and how to look after others’ mental health.
In the Jack.org UWindsor chapter, various events were offered to students to help promote positive mental health while raising funds for Jack.org.
“Being involved has helped me create meaningful friendships with other people in the program through PSA, but also with people in other programs through Jack.org. As a result, I feel that I now have a strengthened support system composed of people who have similar interests which makes it a lot easier to work through any challenges that arise in school,” said Leraci while talking about her greatest learning from being involved with these students’ clubs.
To any students who are looking to get involved, start by filling out applications or taking a chance at something new; whether you are an executive or a volunteer most clubs have a spot for everyone.
“From my experience, I would suggest either attending club day or using social media to search for clubs that interest you. Further, making connections to students in your program who are in their later years of study or peers who are involved is a great way to learn more about the opportunities available to you. Getting involved is always worth it!” said Leraci.
Shiva Bhardwaj is a second-year business student here at the University of Windsor. He is part of the Odette Commerce Society and a volunteer at LEAD.
“Talking about LEAD, it hasn’t just given me valuable skills, but also so many new friends coming from all walks of life. Meeting new minds throughout the past year has been an amazing experience. Similarly, with OCS, I am lucky to have been part of some wonderful events as an event coordinator! The executives at OCS make sure that there are always opportunities to learn from every student and have mentored me so much,” said Bhardwaj.
The Odette Commerce Society (OCS) is a student organization within the Odette School of Business that links the student body, faculty, and community partners. It was established in the year 1953.
“It’s important to make connections on your way to graduation! Simply because it enriches your student experience and teaches you so many leadership skills that will be useful in the future. For me, this has helped me get so many opportunities at the university,” said Bhardwaj.
Bhardwaj adds, “As soon as I received an email saying, “OCS is Hiring,” I quickly sought to apply for a position because I wanted to be involved in my faculty as well! After an interview, I got the position of Event Coordinator.”
Bhardwaj advises every student to grab opportunities like these whenever they are available and make the best of them!
Keep checking your social media accounts, keep an eye out for emails, and lastly try to attend any of the events on campus and talk about their clubs or societies!