As much as I love cheering and performing at uni sports matches nearly every weekend, this weekend off has been a blessing and a perfect opportunity to catch up with my housemates (as if I don’t see them several times every day) and explore more of Leicester (we walked 3 minutes to the Odeon and watched Deadpool and spent most of the rest of the time binge-watching The Walking Dead till the early hours…).
Since joining the cheer and stunt society this term, I’ve been much busier but also much more active in a good way. Twice weekly three hour practices sound a lot, but it’s such a great feeling to dedicate a few hours to keeping fit, spending time with new people and working towards something new as part of a team all at the same time. And ultimately, twice weekly practices becomes a part of your routine and it doesn’t end up feeling like too much. Plus, one day you can tell an employer it means you’re good at time management!
There are three groups within the Cheer Society – Emerald (the performance team), Ruby (the competition team) and Jet (the stunting-only competition team). Since I joined halfway through the year and was only filling in any space available, I couldn’t choose which team I’d prefer and ended up in Emerald, which has been awesome. Emerald primarily perform at university sports matches, but at cheer varsity we also get the chance to compete against De Montford University!
I’ve performed at two American football games, which were muddy, cold and windy, but character development! My housemates were lovely and came to watch me perform at our first performance and have since expressed lots of interest in cheer, other games and varsity, which makes me feel, in some cheesy way, like societies are a really awesome way of bringing people together in university and not just within the societies. Another one of our friends joined the Frisbee Society and has had a similar experience, and a couple of my housemates joined the Feminist Society because of which they got to try out new things like Self Defence while meeting new people. All of us are thinking of going to rugby varsity at the Tigers stadium on 9th March, which makes me feel so much more a part of university life.
I just feel like this year I am so much more engaged with some of the social aspects of university life, outside of nights out and some Oadby events, than I was last year. Maybe I’m in a minority in that varsity didn’t really occur much to me last year, but when I was a Fresher, everything at university was so new and huge that I couldn’t imagine even more, but this year has proved me wrong. It seems that every year at university offers brand new and exciting things to discover and the best part of the adventure isn’t all in first year. Joining a society has been one of the best things I’ve done at university, especially a sport society which has opened my eyes to varsity, and especially cheer specifically because I get free entry to other university sports games when we perform!