The Student Union isn’t Just for Undergraduates
It can be tempting to think of your Student Union or Guild as a place where 18 year old undergraduates join sports teams or go to party. But the mission of Student Unions is to represent and support all students – including post graduates (and mature students if fall you into that category).
Feeling a sense of social belonging to your university can have a positive impact on your motivation and wellbeing. You may find a social network in your lab or office or just in your Faculty generally. But it may also be the case that you have to look harder for other people you can build relationships with. Universities are usually relatively large and diverse places – if you look hard enough you will find someone you can like and who will like you.
The Student Union provides another opportunity to meet people, find friends and build a social network.
Of course, at first glance, much of what your Union offers may appear to be aimed at Undergraduates but take some time and look beyond this. Some of those societies may provide a useful place for you to pursue an interest or hobby. If you are interested in theatre or sport or debating – why not join those societies and use them as a place where you can take a break from research and allow yourself to reset?
At the very least, there is little to be lost in trying them out.
Alternatively you can look for Post-grad or discipline specific societies, that may be a more obvious fit.
If there aren’t any societies that meet your interests, you might also consider setting one up – yes that would take time and of course, you will already have a lot to do. But your Union will usually help you and if you can recruit a few likeminded individuals the workload can be shared.