In the first few weeks of university, like any good fresher I dutifully attended the Freshers Fayre and signed up to pretty much EVERYTHING. The next few weeks were spent trying to fit it all in, and the few weeks after that were spent doing nothing at all, as I tried catch up on the work I should have done before. At some point during my first term I figured out I had to work out what was important to me and what wasn’t.
So most regretfully, out went the Harry Potter society (but not before I dazzled at their Halloween party in my ‘Trevor the Toad’ costume). Instead, I committed to the Volleyball Club. In most decision-making processes Harry Potter would take precedence over sport. However, I spend my entire life sat in front of books, which really isn’t healthy. My university runs free recreational sessions on a Friday afternoon, which is perfect for me, as you don’t have to be any good at sport or commit lots of time to training and playing competitive games against other teams. I have lots of friends who prefer to join a gym or go running as they value the time to think or have some me-time. I would almost definitely find this incredibly boring, but I will never find out, as I lack the motivation to go and do exercise out of my own volition! Being part of the society has made sport fun and motivated me do something I really would rather not do.
Being part of societies has also help me grow in confidence and develop skills such as teamwork, leadership (or perhaps more accurately described as building up my C.V.!) For example, thanks to my role as social secretary at the volleyball club last year I have now organised numerous parties, a taster session, a fundraiser and a Beach Volleyball trip, which involved more beach than volleyball! I hope that by giving this extra time to the society I’ve helped create a place where other people in the university can feel welcome and part of something, just like I was welcomed and made to feel at home.
Finally, societies are great for meeting loads of new people from different courses and places and making friends (aww). It is probably the first thing people say about why you should join societies but it is totally true. I found my own course has hundreds of students in each lecture, and even in the smaller tutorials I never saw one person more than once a week. And as everyone is angling for the same internships and jobs, you always get the feeling that the person sat next to you is really the enemy. Not great for the whole friendship thing!
Having said that, I have made some really good friends with people on my course, but it is always nice to have somewhere to go with no association with work. Or essays. Or Lord Denning.*
So in conclusion, societies are pretty cool. Join one.
Another great way to meet others is through our Student Connect Groups. Find out more on our Connect Group page.
*Just kidding, I’m always up for a chat about Lord Denning.