University societies: To join or not to join?

University societies: To join or not to join?
University is the introduction for most of us to independence. It's a chance for us to move away from home and start afresh. However, I'm sure all of the uni students out there will agree with me when I say, the workload is more than you could ever think of. Unlike college, you have to get all of your research yourself and there's minimum help from tutors and lecturers. And then some of us also work on top of our studies, just to earn a bit of cash to enjoy ourselves. The problem is it gets very difficult to enjoy a social life when we have essays and revision and shifts at work to balance. For me, the easiest option was to join a society at university. club fair You might be thinking how does that help? Well it depends on the person but I found it helped me to schedule my time better and the meetings fit into my schedule because all of the members are in the same boat as me. When deciding on a society to join, I would ask yourself these questions first:
  1. What do you enjoy doing?
  2. Do you have a hobby you want to continue?
  3. Do you have any previous hobbies you want to get back into?
  4. Do you want to try something new?
  5. Do you want to join a society related to your degree or something fun to try?
From my experience, I chose to go down the previous hobby route and join the Performing Arts society. As I was doing a Marketing degree, I considered joining the Marketing society but they were not a very active society in terms of meetings. I used to perform from the ages of three to fourteen and have always loved it. Going to university was the ideal time to get back into it. The only negative side was I only decided to join in my second year. I wanted to make sure I had everything under control in my first year and adjust my schedule to university timetables. In the society, I was an active member, choreographing numbers and helping out when I could. I couldn't commit to being a member of the executive due to my job but I tried to lend a hand as and when needed.hobbies Some students join a society to compete, such as sports and dance; others like myself joined to have fun. There are so many reasons to join a society but these for me are the most important:
  • It can enhance your CV. At every job interview, I've been asked about the society. It will enhance your job prospects even more if you are on the exec.
  • It allows you to have a social life. Even though I don't drink, I enjoyed the twice-weekly rehearsals in the society and getting to chat to everyone on our breaks. We were a relatively small society with around fifty members so everyone knew everybody and I liked that close-knit environment.
  • It helps to balance the workload. As someone who schedules their days anyway, it is great to see when the society fits around your tasks. I wanted to join the dance society but the classes I wanted to attend clashed with my lectures whereas Performing Arts rehearsals were on a night or on a free day. I used to take my work into rehearsals and study when I was not needed in a number.
  • It keeps you fit. The majority of societies have some exercise element to them. It can save you a gym membership if they are!
  • It can give you a new skill. If you choose to try a society that is completely alien to you, it can open you up to so many opportunities.
I found joining a society gave me a new self-confidence and helped me relax for a few hours a week. Even if it's not something serious, the camaraderie you will gain and the skills you will learn can often stand you apart when applying for jobs. activitieshome1 On that note,  first year students should make sure to check out the fresher's fair to find out about all the different student societies that your uni has to offer. Otherwise, if there isn't one that is to your liking, you can always decide to create your own!