Joining the James Cook University (JCU) Law Students' Society has given Rachel Stuart a sense of community and she loves her role on the society’s executive as its president.
“The executive is more than just leadership positions in the Society, we have become a friendship group. We’re always coming to each other for help with assignments or to chat about things related to our course.”
Rachel says the clubs and societies are really important, especially for new students.
“In my experience, the students who aren’t involved in anything just float through their degrees. Clubs and societies help give people a sense of unity and being included. It’s human nature that we need to speak and engage with others.”
She loves that there are so many options for students to choose from when it comes to finding the right community for them.
“There’s a huge range of clubs and societies at JCU – there’s even a knitting club. There are so many diverse groups we can get involved with.”
However, clubs and societies aren’t only about making friends, some of them, such as the Law Society, help provide students with academic support.
“I think it gives them a support group and it helps them to make connections with other students. In the Law Society, we have arranged study groups for first year students and for some of them, I’m the person they come to with questions and if I don’t know the answer I’m able to direct them to the right person.”
Being a member of the Law Society has also exposed Rachel to other opportunities which will help her outside of her university life.
“Some of the friendships I made were with students who were ahead of me in my course and have now graduated and started their careers. This means when it’s my turn to start working, there’ll be people I know in the workforce who can give me advice. I’m already networking.”
Rachel says her role in the Law Society has helped her to grow and develop as a person and she feels she has contributed to making the society a better one.
“We have introduced a lot more social events and it has been amazing to see people come out of their shells. The whole experience has made me a lot more confident and I have gained leadership skills and the ability to encourage a diverse group of people to work together as one team. It has been a challenge at times but it’s very rewarding in the end.”