You’ve probably heard all of this advice before. Of course freshers should join university societies! Joining a bucket-load of weird and wacky societies is part and parcel of the overall fresher experience.
Besides the obvious, there are plenty of fantastic reasons why you should make societies a big part of your new uni life. Here are just a few of the good ones.
1. You get to try things you’ve never even considered trying
I mean, Dumbledore’s Army would have never thought they could produce a Patronus charm until they banded together to form an anti-Umbridge society.
2. Learn new, practical skills
Most of your lectures and seminars are geared towards your academic education, but life needs so much more than that. Societies teach you things like cooking, photography, journalism, knitting and more, depending on which one you go for.
3. Perhaps more importantly, earn ‘soft skills’
You may be wondering what ‘soft skills’ are. They’re basically the skills that make up ’emotional intelligence’, for example, how easy it is for you to fit in with a group.
Societies are a great testing ground for developing those skills, and soon you’ll probably have a secret handshake with a fellow member in no time at all.
4. You get to try your hand at leadership
Who runs societies? Exec committees run societies. Running for an exec position is a great experience, even if you don’t get the position. And if you do, you will learn so much about being a leader, which is a great thing to talk about in future job interviews.
Disclaimer: we recommend not running a campaign like Kanye would, just sayin’.
5. Not to mention the networking opportunities
Academic societies (like the ones tied to your course, for example), regularly run events where you get to meet potential employers. Those are the perfect way to introduce yourself and mingle with your potential new colleagues. The more events you go to, the more likely they’ll remember you.
6. There may be opportunities to travel
Society veterans know: in between the second and third terms will come the much-anticipated society tour. We’ve heard of societies heading to Amsterdam, Paris, and even Prague for their society tours.
7. Keep fit and active through the increased activity
Work on yo’ fitness with societies like Salsa Dancing, Muay Thai, or even Pole Dancing. University societies are a great way to keep healthy, especially after heavy nights at the student union.
8. Meet people with similar interests to yourself
University societies are the best place to meet new people on campus, yes, even better than halls or lectures. Why? Well, you’re guaranteed to have at least one thing in common, so starting up conversations should be a breeze.
9. Gain access to exciting events run by the society
We’re talking things like speed-dating, training sessions, and society balls. Trust us when we say you won’t get a chance to dress up in ball gowns much when you graduate – our glad rags are now sitting forlornly at the back of our closets, lamenting the fact we didn’t take advantage of society events when we were students.
10. Being in societies teaches you about work/life balance
Being a member of a few university societies may be a little overwhelming at first. But once you have your routine down, you’ll have people wondering how you can balance lectures, Glee Club and the Doctor Who Appreciation Society whilst keeping a 2.1 average.
11. Best of all, you’ll make friends for life
Societies aren’t just about the skills you learn or the events you go to. They’re about the great people you meet. Cheesy as it is, they will likely be the people you remember long after you leave university. If that reason isn’t good enough to get you joining a society this term, we don’t know what is.
Feature Image © Warner Bros