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Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Getting involved in clubs, societies and other groups

-By Jayne

Groucho Marx once said he wouldn’t belong to any club that would accept him as a member. While I appreciate the dry humour and ironic self deprecation with which Marx intended this statement, I have to say I disagree. I have been involved with a few clubs in my time, and without exception involvement has proved to be an enriching and infinitely rewarding experience. Well for me anyway-whether the club has been better off for my involvement is probably debateable ;)

In two cases now, I have been a group founding member. There’s something electrically exciting about the energy involved with starting a group (or even a social movement) at grass root level! However, whether you start a group of your own, or join a pre-existing group, the experience will surely be enjoyable, and could possibly be the beginning of a new career or study direction. At the very least, you will meet some great, likeminded new friends!
I’m going to tell you a bit about my most recent experience with clubs and societies here at Deakin.

When I started as a first year mature age student last year I felt isolated and lacking in connection with others mature agers. Never fear, I won’t bore you with that tale again (yay they all chorus in unison!)... but read here if you are interested ;)

I had tried to contact the mature age club listed on the DUSA website without success. It turns out that the committee members of that club had finished their studies leaving the club somewhat alone and unloved. I was extremely frustrated with this, so I began to entertain the somewhat crazy and delusional idea of starting my group. I’d started a group once in another life-so why not? Why not indeed. Oh no reason at all...other than the small fact of being a full time student and single parent with a gazillion other responsibilities. Hmm. Maybe not such a great idea, the sensible side of my brain reasoned. However, as ever, the more impulsive side raged against Ms Sensible and the seed was sown. Being somewhat lazy, a notoriously adept procrastinator who never actually gets many of her ‘brilliant’ ideas off the ground; I typically did nothing with it...*rollseyes at self*
That was until I met some passionate likeminded students via the Facebook page for one of my subjects (yay social media!) Meeting up with these amazing people, who had similar ideas about the need for a new mature age group became the catalyst for ACTION! We formed an executive committee, became affiliated with DUSA as a club, held a highly successful stall all throughout O-Week at Burwood...and the rest is history. We even formed ties with other such groups at other Deakin campuses; even other universities. Some awesome friendships have been made via our club. I love knowing so many great people to whom I can turn for study support, advice or just a chat; it has made me feel a part of something amazing and wonderful. And observing how the mere existence of the club has eased the transition into uni for many first year students is incredibly rewarding.

While starting your own club may not be something you are interested in, I’d definitely urge you to check out the DUSA clubs page, and if there is something there that tickles your fancy contact the club to express your interest. And hey, if you are interested in forming your own club or group, it’s not that hard-it just takes passion and a few like-minded souls. If I can do it, anyone can.

Hopefully this post has been useful (if not, perhaps at least you enjoyed the lolcats? ;)) You can find out more about joining a DUSA club, or starting your own club or group
here J

Clubs can help members out with study support and advice


  1. A fabulous post, Jayne! Love the photos too :)
    It's great to be able to connect with like-minded students!

  2. I'm guessing that you have a love of cats :)
    Joining clubs sounds like such an enriching experience - and you're right, those connections may lead to a whole new path.

  3. Thanks Erzsebet! It certainly is :) Jodi-how did you guess?;) I agree, you never know where these connections will lead, but at the very least, having some likeminded friends with whom you can share the journey is so important.

    1. :)MASC worked out really well too, though you don't hear much of it nowadays :(

    2. Oh MASC is going very strongly! I guess we haven't done any publicity for a while because we've all been a bit busy with study. We will hopefully be part of an event on campus in a couple of weeks though!

    3. That is very true! I haven't heard much so assumed that things have been a bit too quiet, my mistake! Excellent! Look forward to it :)

  4. im not at Deakin but I want to join your freakin club it sounds so good. Okay, the pictures are good too LOL

  5. Thanks Kebeni! It is pretty cool. And yep I love lolcats :)

  6. Love the pics - I'm a cat collector lol It is a great feeling to be founding member and look back later and see it blossom!