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New Year, New Term

The new year means a new start, which at Queen's can be easier than you think…

Student standing inside One Elmwood student centre

Are you a first-year student and maybe the start of university didn’t go as planned? Or simply a second year wanting a re-do, or maybe a final year wanting to make the most of what there is left on offer from university life? Or maybe the new year brings resolutions, and you want to try something different? Here’s a few ideas of what to do and get involved in. There is no better time to reboot and refresh.

There is no re-fresh without re-freshers' fair!

The new term at Queen's kicks off with re-freshers’ fair. New societies that have been launched or perhaps some that weren’t at the original freshers' fair have a stall. If you missed freshers' fair in September head to re-freshers for more information (and some freebies of course!)

Or if you have missed refreshers, it is not too late. On the Queen's website there is a WHOLE list of all the societies on offer and often their Instagram or email is linked. Send them a message and you’ll find they are more than happy to welcome new members.

Group of students talking in One Elmwood student centre

Make new friends by joining clubs and societies

Lots of societies do re-freshers' events and even if they don’t, chances are you won’t be the only new one coming along to start fresh in the new term. For example, I am heading to the Sub Aqua Club free try dive session to try scuba diving for the first time ever!

That leads me onto my second point… just try something new!

New year = new experiences

University is one of the only times where you can often try crazy and new things for free (or cheaply). Just like scuba, I would never get a chance to try that otherwise. In my first year I feel I didn’t take advantage of everything on offer, so second year is my re-do. I joined Queen's Paddlesports and am now learning to kayak. Again, another thing I didn’t think I’d ever be able to do.

Here is a short list of some of Queen's somewhat unusual and interesting clubs and societies (There are over 200!) There will be something for you!

And if there isn’t something for you, you can make your own club!

Find out more about clubs and societies in our Life at the Lanyon podcast!

Explore what’s on your door(step)

This is often overlooked because we get so busy during the week. But why not explore more of Northern Ireland and beyond? As a GB student my new year’s resolution is to explore more this year as I know while I’m here for university I should take advantage.

Giant's Causeway

Giant's Causeway

Go to Dublin for the day, Cave Hill or to the Giant’s Causeway. All just a bus or coach journey from Europa. If you are in first year Queen's accommodation, they often run trips to various places so keep an eye out for these. Or simply, ask a friend, you never know, they may want to see more too, or head yourself. The NI tourist website has plenty of places and directions on how to get there. I have yet to go to the causeway so that is my next day trip!

Be brave, be bold

Now, this does seem very vague and hard to do…this year I have called it ‘a brave day’ where I do something without someone I know or do something I’ve never done before, e.g. go to an event or try a new society alone. Don’t get me wrong, this is scary but this year I have found the more I do it, the less daunting it becomes. Try with one brave day a week and then you’ll realise you start saying yes and going to things alone and before you know it, you have had 3 brave days in a week!

Plates of food and drinks on table

Invite classmates out for a coffee!

To start it could even be trying to take friendships beyond the class, ask someone you talk to regularly for a coffee or if they want to join you at event, say like a formal (this term is formal season!).

The more places and events you go, you’ll find when you walk into a room there may even be someone you recognise from a previous event. This happened to me recently.

So in summary, what am I trying to say?

Now this is probably not new information, but I avoided it for longer than I should have. Before I came to university, my teacher told me university is the time to re-invent yourself as many times as you want over. It is never too late to do that, and you really can start at any time. You can change your experience and what’s a better excuse for this than the new year?

Go be brave (I promise it pays off)!

Find out more

Student life in Belfast

What's On at Queen's

More blogs from GB students

Jadzia Armstrong 

French and International Relations| Undergraduate Student | England

Hey! I am a 2nd year French and International Relations student from Nottingham, England. I am involved in various societies such as QUB Paddlesports, French and Politics. I also take part in weekly Italian classes at the Language Centre.

In my free time you'll probably find me drinking hot chocolate in various cafés with friends!