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Taking Advantage of Opportunities

Thomas Young : English and Sports Science

During my four, bordering on five years at Loughborough, I have met some truly unique people. As a fresher, I came to the university as a budding middle-distance runner, ready to participate in various activities. That is one of the main reasons why I chose Loughborough University- It has world-class sporting facilities that I have had unencumbered access to during my time here. Unfortunately, due to an ongoing injury, I could not reach my athletic potential, so I decided to find something else to occupy myself.

They say that the first year does not count when referring to your degree, but it does matter when it comes to having a remarkable student experience. In my first year, I ran for Sport Secretary on my hall committee (Telford hall) and was not successful- #Tom4SportSec. Back to the drawing board again. I thought to myself, "What can I get involved in to make my mark here at Loughborough?". I stumbled across my department's Twitter account and thought I would drop them a cheeky DM to see if they had any space on their football team. They did not, but they did have a netball team that played on Sundays, which I could take part in if I wanted to," Yeah, why not." It was from that moment onwards that I became involved in Departments/Department Committees. Having seen the fantastic job that Olivia Ferris (Sport SIO at the time) was doing, I thought to myself, "I can do this. I would love to keep up the good work she's put in". This thought resulted in me running for and elected as Sport SIO for the English & Drama Department (not the most prominent role globally, but it was a start). I thoroughly enjoyed my time on the committee, so much so that I decided to run for Chair (this honestly started as a joke at first). I met so many people by being on the committee, and I wanted to contribute to my department's learning community.

For anyone reading this thinking of running for a committee or maybe something a little more, I highly recommend it. It not only helps you shape your own University experience and journey, but you are also in the position to impact the experiences of your fellow students positively. That is what it is all about at the end of the day! It often gets misconstrued that if you are on a committee, you are just doing it to boost your ego and get students drunk, but that is grossly misleading. So many of these student volunteers within Halls, Departments, Clubs, Societies, to name a few, have to dedicate so many hours of their free time to ensure that students have the best experience they possibly can be. I have been on my department committee twice, AU Club Committee twice (Big up Table Tennis), Department Students' Federation (DSF) twice, as well as a multitude of other volunteering roles within the Coaching & Volunteering Academy (CVA) and MyLifestyle Programmes.

If I am asked to go back in time to change something about my University experience, I will not change a thing. It is essential to take advantage of opportunities available to you while you can.

Remember: it is the things we do not do that we end up regretting.

Thomas Young

Student,BA in English and Sports Science

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