How to pick a society at university

Societies are a huge part of university, and the great thing is that they are something that everyone and anyone can get involved in. Whether it’s your course society or a hobby society, there will 100% be something for you!

One of my biggest regrets is not joining a society sooner so make the most of the opportunity! Not only will it give you something to do in your free time but you will be able to meet so many likeminded people.

What are societies?

Societies are groups ran by other students. There are so many different societies that range from snow sports to chess club.

Here are a few you might be interested in:

  • Course societies including business society, law society, maths society, etc.
  • Sports societies such as football, rugby, dance and cheerleading and many more – most sports will have their own society.
  • Hobby societies including makeup, cheese, wine, cocktail, Disney, sing, F1, hula hooping, rounders, ice skating and lots more.

There will be so many societies that you didn’t even think existed so I guarantee you will find one you like. There may even be multiple you like, and no one is stopping you from joining more than one!

If there is a society that doesn’t exist, and you think it should then reach out to your SU and find out how you can start one. Alternatively, some societies fizzle out after a while so see which ones you can restart.

What happens in a society?

Societies meet regularly, some once a week, some even more! You might meet to do things like workshops such as cocktail making or makeup classes. Some events might include bowling and mini golf while some events could include bottomless brunches or club nights.

Pizza nights at bingo or a quiz are also a society favourite so if you like pizza then get involved!

A lot of universities have a sports and society night where tickets are exclusive for people in a sport or in a society. This night is sometimes fancy dress for certain universities and can be lots of fun!

Sometimes, societies join up with another society and you can meet new people. These are sometimes called skills swaps where you can try something new that you wouldn’t have thought of trying before. For example, dance may skills swap with karate. Sometimes competitions are created between societies. There may be a bowling competition between law and Football. There will always be something fun going on!

Most societies have a fee, but it is usually very cheap and a one-off to get your membership. Sports memberships may cost more so bare this is mind.

Freshers fairs

The first way you will be able to get a good idea of which societies are available at your university and what they do is through the freshers fair. This way you will get to talk to the students who run it. Freshers fairs are a great way to get lots of information from the committee of the society you are interested in. You may even know some of the students who are part of a committee so you may want to support then by joining.

Try and get a flatmate to go with you so you can sign up to something together!

 

Taster sessions

Normally during the first few weeks of term, each society will run a few different taster sessions. So, the best thing to do is try as many as you can! This way not only will you get to see which societies are most ideal for you, but you will also meet lots of new people.

Lots of societies will also run taster sessions throughout the year and especially after the Christmas break so if you missed any at the start of the year and wanted to try again make sure you look out for these!

Speak to friends

Speak to friends on your course or in your flat to see what societies they are thinking of joining and you might be able to find some different ones you haven’t heard of yet.

Or if you want to go that extra mile, then start a society with your friends. Of course, this would have to be approved by your Student Union so make sure you have everything planned out.

Look at social media

Most societies will have their own social medias where they can update their society members. This will also be a great place where you can understand more about the society and what they do. You will be able to look at past activities they have done and see if you like any.

Nominations

Not only will you get the chance to join a society. But if you feel like you are up to it. When nominations come around in the following year you can apply for a role that fits you. This way you will be able to have a bigger say in what the society does. There are various roles which could include the president, the vice president, the social secretary, the treasure, the events officer, the wellbeing officer and many more. Of course, this will also depend on the society and how many committee members they think they need.

Tips:

  • Don’t be scared to turn up to taster sessions on your own! There will be lots of people in the same situation as you! If you are slightly worried, then try and get one of your flatmates to attend the first session with you so that you are more familiar with how things work when it comes around to the next session.
  • If you can’t find anyone to go with you then reach out to a member of the committee who will help you get settled and meet some new people!
  • Making the first session is most ideal as many others will be in the same position as you!

Final Thoughts

There are so many benefits to joining a society. Again, if you are worried about joining alone then still try to make the first session. So many others will be going alone too.

Being part of a society is not only beneficial whilst being at university, but you can also write it on your CV. It is a great thing to talk about in interviews as it can show someone a little bit more about your hobbies and interests. If you are a committee member of a society then you definitely need to write this o your CV as it shows leadership skills which employees love!