Strathclyde Telegraph

Working in the students’ union

By Lauren Miller

 

Going from school to university is a daunting and yet exciting experience, and numerous questions will go through your head before day one even begins.

As a new student, you might not be from this country. You might not speak the language, know the slang of the city or, even if you haven’t moved out, know many people attending your institution alongside you. What helps you beat missing home? Well, for me it was my job. That may sound strange but when I started University I got a job at the student’s union, and it truly is one of the best experiences I’ve ever had – the sole reason behind this being the people I work with.

When you work in a Student Union, the people you work with become your family away from home. To add to this, work doesn’t feel like grafting at all: shifts were spent with friends, joking with customers and dancing to the DJ on a Friday night – and I don’t use “friends” loosely. You make friends for life.

Most people would hate to work a Friday night, yet, I loved it. Fridays meant the Union was busy, the DJ was playing and you were getting paid essentially to have fun. Behind the bar I would dance all night long whilst serving drinks, singing along, and the best part was you knew everyone you were serving, you become familiar with faces, with their habits and you essentially become their friend. The union becomes your favorite place to be, even when you’re not working. I think that’s why I loved it so much as a job because it didn’t feel like one.

I spent my weekends at parities constantly meeting new people. It was the best welcome to university I could have asked for. There was always someone there for you, dragging you out to have fun, the way it should be.

It might sound too good to be true but it’s not. I spent my whole time there with a smile on my face. I don’t know what I would have done without it to be honest. You have an upper hand in a sense as you start the university year already knowing people.

I had moved away; people were getting on with their lives. You begin to drift apart from those who you knew, but it doesn’t feel like you’re a child the beginning primary school. You had no friends back then, just the prospect of making new ones. And it’s not easy to walk in to a lecture and hit it off with someone.

I’m lucky enough to have four wonderful people in my life that keep me going when things get tough. These people are my best friends, and I wouldn’t have met them if I didn’t venture out to get a job in the student’s union. Granted, I know a lot more other people, but having such a small and tight group of friends means that they feel more like my family. I owe that to my job.

Therefore, I would recommend anyone to get a job in a Student’s Union. It’s like no other job; a truly unique experience and it keeps you going through university. I honestly think without it I would have seriously considered dropping out at certain difficult points. We might think university is like it is in the movies but it’s not. Yes, it’s fun but it can also be lonely and, in addition to this, the work load increases every year. So, sometimes, it’s normal if you find yourself questioning why you are here.

I can’t imagine where I would be without that opportunity to work at a student’s union. It lead me to my friends.

 

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