Societies offer such an exciting opportunity to try something that you have always wanted to do, to improve a pre-existing skill or talent, and meet a wide range of likeminded people across all study years, age groups and subject areas. Clubs and societies can provide you with a ready-made social structure and do all the hard work for you – they organise events, meals, weekly meetings, classes, training sessions and most importantly fantastic nights out throughout the year. Imagine a night organised by older, more experienced students who know all of the best places to go, the best offers to capitalise on, the best fancy dress ideas and who can gather a huge group of people to go out with every night. Clubs and societies often have fresher inductions and adoption nights where they welcome their new intake into the heart of their group, introduce them to other members and create a real group identity – often the highlight of the social calendar.
Clubs and societies also organise insanely cheap tours to destinations such as Magaluf, Ibiza, Aiya Napa and Morocco which are an absolute must where you can combine the activity or sport of your society, an active nightlife, beautiful sunshine and travelling with all of your new mates! Societies are also great places to pick up advice and support from older students that have been there, done that, bought the t-shirt, (literally), and who you would otherwise rarely get a chance to meet and socialise with on campus.
Furthermore, in such a competitive graduate climate, the membership of a club or society could very well make the difference to you getting that dream job in the future. Employers absolutely love to see students that have had a well-rounded and multi-faceted university experience; students who have achieved academically and socially. Society membership and participation demonstrates commitment, passion and dedication. A sports club suggests a competitive edge and both mental and physical endurance, whilst a creative or artistic organisation demonstrates an active imagination and a cultural appreciation and understanding.
In your second and third years of university there are also opportunities to get involved with the running and management of clubs or societies by running for an exec position such as president, treasurer, captain, kit manager, tour secretary or social events coordinator. An exec position with a successful society is something that demonstrates responsibility, organisation, time management, communication skills and an ability to balance your degree with your other commitments – all qualities that will shine on your CV.
Hopefully I’ve convinced you that joining a club or society is an essential part of Freshers! So, how to go about it? Get yourself down to your university Sports and Societies Fairs which normally take place during the first few weeks of term. Be organised, keep an eye out for the dates of these events - the student union website is a great place to gather information! Once you’re there speak to as many people as possible, don’t be afraid to ask questions, and sign up for the free taster sessions which give you an idea of what each club or society has to offer!
University life has so much to offer and I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to make the most of it! Get involved, join clubs and societies, and enjoy every second. Joining a society is quite possibly the best, most interesting, most entertaining, most rewarding thing that you can do during your university years. Don’t just rely on your flat mates or fellow course friends, reach out to clubs and societies and you will never look back. For me, belonging to the exec of one of the biggest sports clubs on campus has provided me with friends and memories that will last a lifetime.
By Emily Walker