University is the place where you get the chance to learn from world-leading experts in their field and gain valuable insight into your chosen field. This experience alone would make university worthwhile. But the social benefits of university life cannot be understated. Friendships can be forged over shared experiences and interests, but for many freshers, finding like-minded people can be a challenge. Joining a university society not only looks great on your CV, but also allows for new experiences and meeting new people.
1. University Societies Put Up Social Events
It is more than likely that you will make friends from your Halls of Residence and your course, but it is far more likely that you will bond with people who share similar interests at a club, set up and run by other students with support from the Students’ Union.
These clubs offer specific activities and social events based around a shared common interest, whether it is sport, arts, or religion. These social events allow new students to get to know more experienced students and get advice and support. Many societies meet every week, so even if you’ve missed them at the Fresher’s fair, there’s still every opportunity to go along and join in. Socials are often a big deal for many societies, and the committee will frequently hire out bars, so new members can get to know the more experienced members in a social setting.
2. Sharing Your Talent Amongst Peers
Getting the chance to perform in front of a receptive audience is an aspect of university societies many people overlook. Drama clubs can be given substantial budgets to stage their own productions in the Union building itself, or at local theatres. Music societies put on open-mic nights or gig nights, where anyone can display their talents, and due to the nature of the event being organised through the society, audiences can be quite sizeable, and the applause generous.
Even the sports clubs will gather large crowds that many students will not have had the opportunity to play in front of before. Scouts and industry representatives may even attend these matches and performances, looking for the next big thing.
3. The Perks of Joining University Societies
It is common for university societies to get discounts and perks that are passed on to their members. Sports clubs get exclusive access to universities’ sports facilities at specific times, and renting high quality professional venues is often much cheaper when done thorough a university society. Societies like the ski and snowboard society may arrange a group holiday at a discounted price, which can be hugely popular, and allow for a great opportunity to indulge in your interest and socialise with your peers at the same time. By becoming part of the universities newspaper team, you may get free access to gigs or theatre performances to review them, or even the chance to interview someone you admire.
4. Creating Bonds Away From Home
The most important part of joining a society, though, has to be the friends made there. Moving away from home and starting university can be a daunting task, and meeting people who you feel comfortable around. and who let you express yourself can be challenging. By joining a society of like-minded people, the transition into student life can be much smoother. Some societies may ask for a contribution upon joining to go towards renting spaces, sports facilities, and social events; but the benefits gained from joining the club will definitely be worth this small expense.
Simon is a Sports and Exercise Science graduate from the University of Leeds with a passion for live music, blogging on behalf of Banana Moon who specialise in personalised clothing; providing personalised hoodies for many university clubs and societies.
photo credit: Devar (on flickr)