Advice from an experienced student: Take the initiative, take a risk and dare to start up an activity!

Wed 14 Sep

He dared to start up an activity and helped himself out of the dorm. It may sound excessive, but student funds from SSN actually helped 👏

Lonely as a new student

As a new student in 2018, he sat alone in the dormitory a lot and had a rough time. He wasn't really supposed to study, but got into supplementary admission, wasn't allocated a sponsor group and didn't make it to the first day of school.

– I was one of those people who had no friends and who had to go out drinking to have someone to hang out with. There was no one it was natural to be with without alcohol, recalls Viktor Grunde Simonsen, and adds with a grin:

– And I'm not exactly the type who likes to drink every day!

Started film club with money from SSN

Four years have passed and a bachelor in history has happened since then. Today, Victor is 25 years old and has learned a thing or two about taking some risks to get better and to take chances when opportunities arise.

– At Campus Vestfold there are around 5,000 students, there MUST be someone here who likes the same things as me, reasoned Victor.

– Then I heard that SSN had some funds that you could apply for to start activities. Film is low threshold, I thought. It costs little to operate and it's free to show up, and there must be more people than me who enjoy watching movies. So I applied to SSN for funding, which I got, and then I jumped in and started a film club!

You can apply for SSN for money - aka student funds - for activities for students. There are some criteria that must be met in order for the application to be approved, one of the most important of which is that the activities must be run by students and be for the students at educational institutions affiliated to SSN.

See the criteria for allocation of student funds here.

The goal of distributing money for student activities is to stimulate a rich, inclusive and lively student environment. We want to help you thrive while you study. Students who thrive more often complete their studies on time.

Read more about student funds and find the application form.

15 members at the start

– It was possible that no one showed up, but I just had to take that risk, says Victor about when he took action to get out of the dormitory and acquire a network on campus.

Fortunately, it went well. Victor marketed his film club by creating a group on Facebook, which he shared on the group for USN students in Vestfold. He also put up posters on campus. This resulted in a group of 15 students watching a film together in what he himself refers to as "slightly awkward auditoriums, but with a good atmosphere amongst the group".

Movie night with students eating popcorn

Movie and popcorn is never wrong! Illustration photo/SSN.

Became a student leader

– I was relatively shy at the start of my student life. But after I had started the film club, it really rolled on with other social and engaging things. I was asked to join Fadderstyret and I said yes. Then I joined the Student Democracy and suddenly I was a representative for all students at USN as a student leader, Victor smiles.

When he sat as student leader, the film club had to take a break, but this autumn Victor has started a new bachelor's degree as a Primary 5-10 teacher, where he will put his degree in history to good use, as a history teacher. That is why he has breathed life into the film club again, and a total of 34 students turned up for the first film screening this fall, which is now at Studenthuset in Vestfold.

Film at Studenthuset every second Monday

The film club borrows the Student House and shows a movie there about every second Monday. Victor accepts requests for films, but otherwise shows both new and older films. It's completely free for you who are students!

See the autumn program and get in touch with the film club here.

The film club is also happy to show films for students with children...

... and PS! The student house sells cheap popcorn!

Kick that ball back!

Coincidence or fate, this is an important and beautiful story anyway:

– At the very beginning, when I only knew a couple of people, I went out and went for a walk with someone I knew from high school (whom I actually live with today!). Suddenly a soccer ball came at me. I kicked it back to where it came from. It came back to me and suddenly I was playing ball with a guy I didn't know. A couple of days later I met him again, and he said "Hey Sivert! There you are!". My name is not Sivert, but he still calls me that for nonsense, because now he is one of my best friends!

No doubt it was wise to kick that ball back!

– My best advice to students who haven't found friends and feel lonely is to dare to show up for things you find interesting. Try different things, or come up with something yourself. For example, I miss a chess club here on campus, because I really want to learn to play chess. So apply for funds from SSN and come up with something, concludes Victor.

Apply for student funds