The university experience I’d always dreamed of. Going on spontaneous adventures and road-trips with friends; working together to make an impact in the student community; studying, then stressing, then crying together the night before an exam. You’ll hear this so often it might get tiring, but joining a subcommittee was the best thing I did for myself in first-year.

So, what exactly is a subcommittee?

A subcommittee (most commonly referred to as ‘subcom’), is a team of uni students who work together to improve a society, and in turn aim to improve student life at UNSW.  The positives of joining a subcommittee are endless - but since none of us have the time to discuss them all, I’ll do my best to compress them into just three key takeaways (and hopefully convince you to give it a shot too!).


1. Meeting New People

In high school, you see the same familiar faces everyday for 6 years. So, by the time you get to uni, it’s only natural that you would want a change of pace by meeting new people. We’ve all been there: buzzing with excitement and anticipation at the thought of making lifelong friendships with the fateful people you happen to sit next to on your first day.

But you’ll find out pretty quickly that it’s harder than you think. Don’t worry, I’m not here to point out your awkwardness in social settings - it’s genuinely difficult to maintain strong  friendships when you barely see your new friends once a week (if you attend your classes, that is). Even organising get-togethers and meet-ups get increasingly difficult because of the unexpected workloads and individual commitments. But… what if making new friends and upgrading your social life came as benefits to your commitments?

Picture this:

“Speaking for my subcom, we had numerous get-togethers and did all sorts of fun activities, such as rock climbing and cooking tacos together. Not to mention the road-trip - it really felt like the uni experience I had always hoped for. Through these, I’ve made some of my best memories and friendships!” - Brian (Creative Subcommittee 2020)

2. Self-Improvement

One of the coolest things about society subcommittees, is that there are multiple portfolios that are responsible for different tasks. Think of it as the various body parts of the same body. Since there are so many options, you can really choose the one that’s most fitting to the skills that you want to improve on. For example, Hoya (Workshops Subcommittee 2020) says that he “applied for workshops portfolio because I had a passion for teaching and sharing knowledge to others.” This is just one example of how you can get involved and expand on your interests and hobbies, and it’s really encouraging to be surrounded by like-minded people who share those same interests.

Of course, no matter what portfolio you decide to join, there are universal skills that you will learn across the board. Crucial to any university student, you will learn how to best organise your time as you juggle commitments and academics, and also learn how to work as a member of a team. The latter is especially important in the real-world workforce, and any group projects you will most likely have to take as a student (unfortunate as it is).


3. Making An Impact

Probably the most rewarding and fulfilling part of joining a subcommittee, is the positive impact that you make on so many students’ lives. By hosting social events and bringing the community together where new friendships are forged; organising workshops to inspire learning and student development; liaising with sponsors to offer stepping stones that boost students’ careers; every little impact made throughout the year snowballs significantly. It’s incredibly motivating to see the positive influence you had on other students’ lives, which feeds back into the desire to do even better for your next event or idea.

“It is an extremely meaningful feeling to make an impact on someone else’s time at university, and knowing you worked with your team to make it a reality.” - Hillary (Socials Subcommittee 2020)

Final Advice

Hopefully, you now have a better idea of what subcommittee is and you understand why every society at O-Week will try to convince you to join their team. If you are even considering joining subcom, this is the sign that you need to take the leap forward for an amazing first-year uni experience at UNSW. Trust me, you will regret it if you don’t give it a shot!


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