About two months ago I was elected into the board of a students’ organisation. Not a regular one, though. The one I was elected for is one that focuses entirely on making new friends, talking, and drinking tea together. Yes, that’s it. The past few years these atypical students’ organisations seem to have become more popular, and I most definitely understand why.
See, in my first year at uni, I hardly ever went out. Most students’ organisations just organised events that involved going out until dawn broke, and that really wasn’t my cup of, well, tea. I had no clue there were alternatives to it. Sadly, this could get a little lonely sometimes. I of course had my friends who I went to class with, but still… I had expected more of university-life. All this changed the second one of my closest friends and I went to an activity organised by two “alternative” student organisations. We instantly knew this was more our thing, and became a member of both student groups. In less than two weeks time we met so many more people, and we finally felt like we were actually part of the student-life.
Besides, these atypical students’ organisations feel so much more approachable to me than the others did. There’s no general pressure to go out and drink: you just come and have a good time, regardless of whether you feel like drinking or not. And, I know, not a single student group would ever force you to drink alcohol if you don’t want to, “so what the hell are you fussing about?” But in reality that doesn’t mean that the pressure isn’t there: you’re only really part of the group when you go out with them, and the fact that the groups I’m in now don’t have that pressure honestly makes all the difference to me, and as far as I’ve asked around, to many others too.
But in the end, even though the things I mentioned above are definitely perks, I think the main appeal of these groups comes down to them being open to literally everyone. There’s no limitation to who’s welcome and who isn’t – not even implicitly. They’re not only open to “students who don’t drink”, or “students who study this or that”, they’re open to every student out there – and that’s the beauty of them, I suppose: everyone is welcome, and there’s no not-being-part-of-the-group.
- L. Parole
For those of you wondering what student groups I am talking about, you can find their emblems here. If you click on them, you will be taken to their Facebook page: