Make the most out of your time at the university

Congratulations to everyone starting their studies at the University of Turku!

Autumn is upon us, and all the fun orientation events are in full swing. The events provide you with great opportunities for getting to know the student community, making friends, and creating memories. However, time flies when you're having fun, and before you know it, autumn is over. If there is one thing worth remembering from the onslaught of new information that you get during your orientation weeks, it is the numerous organisations that introduce themselves to you. This is because you can get much more out of your university years when you get involved with organisations. Organisations create the student community and its culture – and what would be a better way of getting to the heart of student culture than creating it yourself?

In organisations, you meet many new people and can easily get new friends from both your own faculty and others. It may be clichéd to talk about the importance of interdisciplinarity and how it expands your worldview, but it really does pay off to find friends from outside your own faculty. When you become friends with students from other faculties, you get to experience a completely new side of student life. You get to witness and take part in traditions that might be completely unheard of in your own subject organisation but are an integral part of the university experience for another organisation.

Being an organisation's board member or taking up some other position of trust can offer great opportunities for personal development. In such positions, you learn many skills that may be beneficial to you both in your everyday life and during your career. For example, members of the Student Union Council or student representatives in the university's administration learn important
influencing skills and gain more courage to voice their opinions. And if you become a student organisation's board member or even the chairperson, you will learn organisational skills and leadership. Even though you shouldn't get involved with organisations just to add something to your CV, it is true that you will learn skills that employers are looking for.

Above all, however, running an organisation fun. It involves parties, funny mishaps, and feelings of success. You become friends with your fellow board members, and soon enough your planning sessions start to feel like nice get-togethers. When I was hastily writing an application letter for TYY's Executive Board in a train's restaurant car, I could not have guessed what kind of year this
would become. Bathing a turtle during the Board's apartment crawl, sleeping in my overalls on the office couch, and listening to countless semi-trivial debates are all experiences that I will remember fondly for a long time to come. I don't regret for a moment that I decided to run for the Board last autumn, even though it seemed like way too much of a leap at the time.

Many positions will become available in the autumn, so if you feel like you might want to try being a board member in your subject organisation or representing students in the university's
administration, you should definitely apply. Being active in an organisation will make your time at
the university memorable and full of life – it may even make it the best time of your life.