The Freshers’ Fayre: a bustling mass of excitable students hoarding as many freebies as physically possible. Stalls eager to sell you on their product lavish you in free food and key-rings. Keen second-and third-years desperate to have you sign up to their society.
It’s easy to get caught up in all the excitement, easier still to sign up for every society that interests you. Wind-sailing society? Yes, please! Break-dancing? Of course!
Do you actually participate in the activities, though? For many, the answer to that (the honest answer, that is) is often a ‘No’.
But we say you should. And here’s why:
1. You’ll gain a whole new friendship group
One of the best parts about university is meeting people and making friends. You will most likely meet many of your new friends in halls or other housing and through your course, but joining a society immediately increases your options.
Why? Because you’ll get to meet plenty of like-minded people with similar interests. In all likelihood, you’ll find a lifelong pal who shares your passion in a particular activity.
2. It will make you more employable
Don’t forget your priorities: you’re there to get a good education, a decent degree and a fantastic job at the end of it all.
But all work and no play makes Jack (or Jill) a dull boy (or girl). In today’s job market, while a degree is valuable, it’s not a ticket straight to your dream job. You will need other things on your CV to help you stand out, and a hobby or interest will prove a great asset to your application.
Being an active member of a society shows dedication, improves your social skills, helps you become well-rounded, and shows you value the concept of balancing work and play. And it doesn’t matter whether you’re the founder, president, social-coordinator, or simply a passionate member of that society, you will be gaining valuable skills.
Plus… who wouldn’t want to employ the founder of the garlic bread society?
3. You can trial your leadership skills…
… if you want. Founding a society really isn’t too difficult. The job, of course, isn’t quite as easy but it is certainly rewarding.
If you’d rather just sit back and enjoy at your society meetings, then there’s no pressure to become any more involved than you wish to be. However, if you’re feeling up to the challenge, we say use this opportunity for self-improvement and to make a difference in your environment. You can gain valuable leadership skills and have fun. It’s like having your cake and eating it too!
4. It’s so much fun!
Being a part of something is a fantastic feeling. You’ll get to explore something you love with people who love it just as much as you. You might learn some new skills or practice existing ones. Either way, societies are a great way to throw your energy into something other than studying.
5. It will be good for you
Whether you’re a member of the choir or the football team, the swing-dance society or quidditch, there will be plenty to do. What better way to spend some of your free time than exploring a personal passion?
After a long day of lectures, it can sometimes be tempting to hole up in a room with Netflix but do this every day and it will get boring. So maybe leave all that couch time for your time-starved 30s.
Joining a society will give you more of a reason to get out and do something with your time. Plus, it won’t feel like a chore because you’ll enjoy it – it’s a win-win!
6. International students, it’ll help you improve your language skills
Joining a society will inevitably involve speaking to lots of different people. This may seem daunting for some but trust us when we say you’ll settle in just fine and will be chatting away like the language is your mother-tongue in no time.
7. There’s really something for everyone – you’ll improve your knowledge or abilities in something you love
The best part is if there isn’t a society you fancy (which there almost definitely will be) then you can set up your own!
Just try to sign up to ones at your own uni, unlike this guy: