I’m very near the end of my undergraduate degree at Edinburgh Napier University and without a doubt my highlight and saving grace during that time has been being a part of Team Napier.
Team Napier is made up of all of my university’s clubs and societies, they are an engaged, supportive and committed community of people who give me a sense of belonging in my home away from home. Edinburgh Napier University itself lacks a lot in the way of community feel, we’re split between three different campuses, the union is even more out of the way and there’s a culture that when class is done, you move on. Unless of course you put in the effort to befriend and hang out with your coursemates, there isn’t a lot of things that bring us together and it can be really easy to feel like a disenfranchised individual going through the uni experience pretty much on your own.
The members of our sports clubs and societies are incredibly engaged because they want to but also because they have to be. As we don’t get any funding, we have to work hard to be self-sufficient. In recognising this effort, we end up being really supportive of one another’s teams. There are plenty of times throughout the year where we attempt to bring together as many clubs as possible so that we maintain our #OneTeam relationships! From Dance’s Strictly Come Dancing event to the Team Napier Awards Ball at the end of the year we are always supporting and celebrating the achievements of others whilst sharing our love for our own club!
If I hadn’t joined Dance in my first year, I would barely know anyone at uni. I have found so many friends for life, not just within my own club but also by meeting people from other clubs too. I think the clearest example of this is how in first year I’d only know a handful of people around campus and at the Ball I felt like a dot in the room but now I know every second person I see and my fourth and final ball was a room full of people I’ve been through the last four years with, seeing their achievements, development and a lot of my pals also went on to take leadership roles. It makes you so proud of the whole community.
On a more personal development note, being in Team Napier has given me so many of those transferable skills for the CV which will definitely help with my employability after I graduate. As a member of the Dance club I have taken on committee roles of responsibility as Competition Coordinator, VP and President and this has in turn made me a manager, a recruiter and an administrator, among other things. I have been responsible for the coordination and organisation of an organisation involving over 100 people and also several major events, and I have handled budgets in the tens of thousands. When it comes to job interviews I think my experiences through Dance will be instrumental and perhaps more useful than some of my academia or work experience. I’m so thankful to have gained all these skills subconsciously whilst I was working on a club that I love.
I don’t know if I would have made it through this degree without Team Napier, and if I had I can guarantee it would not have been nearly as enjoyable. I’m so grateful to have shared the last four years with Napier Dance and Team Napier so thanks to everyone that has been a part of it! (Cheese-fest over xx)