Every student has been there. You join a college club or society with the very best intention of attending weekly training, going on trips or showing up to meetings. As the college year progresses, assignments and essays creep up and you no longer have time for anything else but work.

That sports lesson a week won’t get you a first class honours but it will help you de-stress and forget for just an hour or two any looming deadlines or problems you have. So before you brush off the idea of taking part in a club or society consider the following benefits. 

Meeting people

It may be a cliché but becoming a member of a club or society is the best way of meeting new people. Clubs and socs often bring together a group of people of different personalities, cultures or backgrounds.

Secretary of DCU Hiking Society, Sonja Franzke talks about the diversity in this society: “Personally, I have made so many friends from all over Asia, America and Europe. We once had this guy from Oman and we actually had to stop hiking at certain times so he could do his prayers in the direction of Mecca. That was a very interesting experience and I think it is very important to see how other people think and live."

If hanging out with people who aren’t in your course seems a little daunting, invite along a classmate so there’s one familiar face. A workplace is rarely as diverse as a university or college environment so don’t miss out on your chance of getting to know lots of people.

Self-satisfaction and confidence booster

One of the main benefits attributed to many clubs and societies is confidence boosting. There is a clear sense of achievement when you progress in a sport, learn a new skill or step outside of your comfort zone.

When you perform any skill successfully, you will generate confidence and be willing to attempt something slightly more difficult” according to Peak Performance online. More than often the confidence you gain from actively participating in your chosen club or soc is transferrable to your own college course work. In the US “students who participate in co-curricular activities study more, have higher GPAs (grades) and are more satisfied with their social lives”, according to Kevin Kruger of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (2010).

So if you’re in need of a confidence boost have a look at your college’s list of clubs and socs.

Healthy Body

Being an active member of a sports club contributes to a healthy body as well as boosting self-confidence. It’s recommended that an adult carries out moderate activity at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week (or 150 minutes a week) by The National Guidelines on Physical Activity for Ireland 2011/2012. Moderate activity results in a person having “increased breathing and heart rate but still able to carry on a conversation.

DCU Mixed Martial Arts Club member Ian Holland noticed a difference to his fitness when he started training with the club twice a week. “I felt my fitness improved with every class and it encourages me to get in better shape to improve my performance too."

Between college work, a job or the many extra commitments students have it can be difficult to fit in exercise. However a one hour training session twice a week in your college gym could be enough to keep you fit.