Societies. They're everywhere, and they consist of anything and everything. As a university student it can be daunting to see so many opportunities shoved into your face at once but on the other hand, you may feel the need to get involved in absolutely everything.
If you want to join a society but you’re not sure which ones are for you, read on to see which student groups could complement your university experience, and even benefit life after your degree.
A new sport or fitness group
Whether you’re already pretty active or haven’t engaged in anything remotely athletic since school PE lessons, joining a sports society is a must. It’s a great way to keep fit while still having fun and making friends. If you’re a team player and up for a bit of competition, join a team (e.g. football or hockey). If you just want to keep fit and active then give swimming or yoga a go. Even better, try something that you’ve never done before – you might like it!
A student media group
Most universities have a newspaper and many have radio stations and television channels. This doesn’t mean you have to be a journalist, radio DJ or presenter – you could get involved in different areas such as marketing, editing or programming. What’s more, you could be a part of something truly amazing and even get acknowledged on a national scale.
A society to make you think
You wouldn’t have come to university if you didn’t want to challenge yourself. For the same reason, give a society that involves some critical thinking a try. This could range from politics to religion but what always springs to mind is the debating society. It might sound boring but it’s a great way to improve your confidence and the ability to think on your feet. You can pretend you’re on Question Time if you like.
A group to bring out your competitive nature
This could include a wide range of societies and could also involve other categories on this list such as numbers one and three. As the saying goes, a bit of friendly competition is good for your health. I also say it’s good for your brain. Having a competitive streak boosts your confidence and encourages you to try your hardest, which could ultimately help you reach for that dream job once you graduate. Just don’t be a sore loser.
A society to go hand-in-hand with your degree subject
Need I elaborate? If you study law, join your law society. If you study literature, join your creative writing society. It shouldn’t mean more work; just the chance to meet likeminded people and aid your academic studies.
A group that volunteers within the community
It’s important to do your bit for society. This doesn’t mean doing a litter-pick every week (although it could!) but could involve working with children at local schools or helping out at a care home. Most universities help you to make the most of your volunteering with awards and special programmes and potential employers LOVE volunteers.
A society that revolves around something you’re truly passionate about
It’s no use joining a society if you’re not interested in what it stands for. Visit your fresher’s fair or take a look at your union website to see what’s on offer and what makes you think "that sounds like me". If you can’t find anything, most unions offer the chance to create your own society.
A charity or fundraising group
It’s always nice to help and give back and there’s no better way to do this than to raise money for a good cause. Universities are packed with groups that represent national and local charities, not to mention RaG (Raise and Give) which a student-run charitable fundraising organisation that are widespread in the UK and Ireland. Even if you just raise a bit of money through one event, you can say you’ve supported a charity campaign and feel pretty chuffed with yourself.
A society purely for fun
Of course, you wouldn’t want to join a society if it meant all work and no play. Most societies involve a bit of work, especially if you decide to go for a committee position, but some are simply there for the fun of it. The Harry Potter Society is a popular one across the UK.
Don’t forget to mention any societies you join throughout the course of your time at university on your CV and in interviews. You will have gained a range of transferable skills from each of them which could benefit whatever career path you decide to take. Even if you get top marks in your degree, employers like to know that you also had a life at university.