On the afternoon just before Australia Day, students of Southern Cross University (SCU) Sydney gathered together for “Movie Day” to watch the hit 2011 comedy-drama film, Red Dog. It was a small but fun way to unwind together and welcome the Australian holiday as one community. A few weeks later, SCU Sydney organised an “End of Session Trip” for students for a relaxing afternoon of bowling and karaoke.
While events like these have nothing to do with academics, they have at least something important to do with a student’s overall learning experience in school. On-campus social gatherings benefit students in ways that no book, lecture or workshop can fully replicate. Here are a few reasons why schools, like SCU, arrange social events for students:
1. To develop emotional intelligence
Social events develop social skills and empathy—the outward-oriented dimensions of emotional intelligence (EQ). The interactions or conversations elicited by events helps students build relationships, understand different perspectives and engage other cultures. Social events provide an opportunity to expand one’s social circle.
2. To take a break
All work with no breaks diminishes productivity. It’s good to take one’s mind off the troubles of exams or reports from time to time—something that participating in events can provide. Whether it’s by watching a movie or volunteering for a fundraiser, a “study break” lets students recuperate by focusing on activities that exercise other creative, mental muscles.
3. To build relationships
Participating in on-campus social events enables students to meet people who share common interests and individuals who can help them academically, or even professionally. Relationship-building is a good habit that students need to learn because the world of work requires aptitude in negotiation, communication and, well, more networking.