It’s no secret that this week has been a bit of a tough one. With the latest COVID-19 restrictions requiring the cancellation of most face-to-face teaching and university students across the country being forced to self-isolate, it’s safe to say this isn’t quite the start of term 1 we were hoping for. Many of you will be feeling home sick, and for many of you this is the first time you’ve lived away from home, and while things may be feeling rather intense and uncertain right now, we at JMSU just want you to know that we are here to make your current situation as easy and enjoyable as it can possibly be.
We hope you’re settling in okay, but if you’re not we are always here for you no matter what. No matter what you’re struggling with, we have a range of services designed specifically to support you in whatever you need, and if it’s something that we cannot help with directly, we have resources across LJMU and Liverpool that we can connect you with to make sure you don’t have to carry the burden alone.
At JMSU, our primary goal has and always will be making sure students get the absolute most out of their university experience! What does that look like exactly? Well, aside from the support services we offer to all of our students, we also create opportunities and incredible events to ensure your time here isn’t all work and no play. From Zoom quizzes to over 100 societies and groups, volunteer opportunities to signing up to be a Buddy, there’s so much for you to get involved with!
We’ve been working hard behind the scenes to create as many incredible opportunities as possible for you to meet new people, gain some new experiences and have an absolute blast as you settle into university. With so much to choose from, and so many reasons to get involved, we’ve put together this handy guide of all the fabulous events and opportunities for you to get involved with based on what you’re looking to get out of it. Whether that’s to just have fun or maybe you’re starting to think of ways to improve your CV as you prepare to enter the job market, this guide will help you navigate everything we have available to you so that you can get the most out of your time with us.
Perhaps the scariest part of joining university is the question of whether you’ll be able to make new friends. Unfortunately, the current pandemic has made this even more difficult and in turn, even more stressful for all of the freshers joining us this year. Luckily, we haven’t let COVID stop us from setting you up with everything you need to put yourself out there and socialise, things are just a little different!
If you’re looking to meet new people from all kinds of different cultures and backgrounds that share your interests, you should consider joining a society! At JMSU we have over 100 (yes, 100!) different societies and groups for you to join, and you don’t have to worry about not knowing enough about this or not being experienced enough in that, our societies and groups are open to anyone and everyone no matter your previous experience or knowledge. All you need is to be a student of LJMU and to have an interest in whatever society or group you’re looking to join! It’s free, it’s super easy to sign up, and you get the added bonus of joining a community of people that enjoy some of the same things that you do.
Joining a society or group opens you up to all kinds of opportunities and new experiences, including competing nationally against other university teams with as part of Team LJMU, have the chance to sit on a committee for your society and forming close friendships with those within your society or group that often continue after you graduate! If you want to join a group or society, all you have to do is head to jmsu.co.uk/groups to browse our huge catalogue of societies and groups. Once you’ve decided which one you’d like to join, just click ‘Join this group’ to register. Not seeing a society for you? Have you considered starting your own? If you have a great idea for a society that you aren’t seeing on our website, head to jmsu.co.uk/startyourown to find out how you can start your own society!
We at JMSU are firm believers that joining university is as much about new experiences as it is about getting your degree. Learning something new and broadening your mind is not exclusive to the lecture hall, which is why we’ve started our Give it a Go programme specifically for you to try something new that you maybe would not have the chance to do otherwise! This programme has been designed to offer a huge range of new experiences that will appeal to many different people and interests. For example, our programme includes Italian Language & Culture, Pilates, Mindfulness & Meditation, Craftivism, and even a Hip-Hop Dance Class!
Our Give it a Go events don’t require any experience, in fact, the less experience the better! This is your chance to step out of your comfort zone and learn that thing you’ve always thought about but never taken the leap to do. We have experienced leaders present at all of our Give it a Go events that are keen to help you take the first steps towards finding a new hobby, learning a new language and becoming part of the community! Go on, Give it a Go!
At JMSU, much of our work revolves around working in harmony with LJMU to make sure you are set up as much as you can be to take on the job market after you graduate. We both have your best interests at heart, which is why we’ve created some opportunities for you to volunteer and improve your CV!
You can register to be a volunteer on our website at jmsu.co.uk/volunteering-opportunities where you will find all of our current opportunities. If you know the city well you can register to be a Buddy where you will be teamed up with a new student and will help them navigate the city, support them as they settle in and offer any advice they may need! You can also register to be a Quarantine Support Worker, where you will help students who are forced to quarantine as they arrive to Liverpool. We are also looking for Sustainability Champions, where it will be your responsibility to feedback to JMSU all the ways you think your course could be more sustainable.
Aside from helping other students, taking on a volunteering opportunity will look fantastic on your CV and really give you a leg up when it comes to finding employment post graduating. To find out more about each role and what is required just head to jmsu.co.uk/volunteering-opportunities.
With the current Liverpool and Merseyside COVID restrictions (you can read more here), how we go about having a good time has changed dramatically. We have a responsibility to ourselves, our community, our family and friends to follow these restrictions and make sure we’re doing everything we can to prevent the spread of the virus. That doesn’t mean fun is completely off the table, though! We’ve put together a huge virtual events programme to ensure that those nights in your new flat aren’t spent staring at a blank wall or endless scrolling social media!
From Virtual Dance Classes to Zoom Speed Mating, Virtual Escape Rooms to the Ultimate Drag Race Quiz featuring the queen of Essex, Cheryl Hole! There’s so much happening right now at JMSU all designed for you to have as much fun as possible whilst staying as safe as possible. All you have to do is sign up and we’ll send you all of the access information you need to get involved! Just head to jmsu.co.uk/events to browse our full calendar of events and sign up to as many as you like to fill your nights with laughs and create some fabulous memories! The best part? They’re free to join!
Don’t forget, our first EVER Virtual Fresher’s Fair is now live until 9 October, head to jmsu.co.uk to claim your freebies, find out more information on our clubs and societies and get all the information you need to make your first weeks at university a huge success!