Often overlooked by not only a lot of new First-Year university students, but also students as a whole – societies are what actually made my first year university experience so amazing!
I think a lot of students think that when they arrive at university they won’t really benefit from getting involved in sports or societies. Maybe it’s that they think they won’t have extra time to commit to a sport/club with lectures, studying, nights out and jobs (not that that’s a problem for me – someone plz hire me I’m poor) or maybe they just think they’re a waste of time..?
Lets be real though, a lot of us aren’t exactly interested in sports as it is and so the thought of suddenly taking up a new sport at university seems a bit unlikely. I, myself, have never really been super into sports; I was a dancer for a large part of my childhood, which I absolutely adored doing, but I had to give it up when I was around 15 to focus on my school studies – I’d never, however, been involved in a team-based sport. That was until I joined Lacrosse.
I’d never played before so it was completely foreign to me when I arrived at the first ever training event. However, a friend of mine had joined when she was in university and told me about how much of a great sport it was. For me, what was so perfect about joining a sport that no one has ever really tried before is that everyone was at a similar level – beginner! Plus, there was also no real hierarchy involved as there were only a few people who had played before.
Anyway, enough of the back-story, lets get to what you actually came here for! I’ve complied a little list of the benefits of joining a society at university for anyone who is considering joining one but isn’t totally convinced yet. Hopefully I can managed to convince you to get involved because I really do believe societies make your university experience.
1. Its a great way to meet new people
I feel like the biggest mistake you can make when you go to university or college is to only stick with your roommates and flatmates. As much as you may get along with your flatmates you have to realise that you didn’t choose them as your friends (if that makes sense). Your flatmates are randomly selected for you without any consideration of what your common interests may be and so just because you live with them doesn’t mean that they’re going to be your best friends.
By joining a society you’re deciding for yourself what kind of people you want to get to know and spend your time with. Not only will you have your flatmates and your course-mates but you’ll have society friends as well. Having as many different groups of friends in university is something that is really important so that you don’t spend too much time with the same people. It’s easy for arguments to happen if you spend all of your time with the people you live with both in your flat and outside of it.
2. You’ll make your best friends in societies
As I mentioned in the previous point; your society friends are the friends you can choose to have and so you’ll find that these are the friends that you’ll have the most in common with. When I first joined university I was convinced that the majority of my friends were going to be from my course, but when I arrived I realised that the only thing I had in common with a lot of them was our choice in degree.
In a society you’ll not only make friends in your own year but also in the years above you which means you get a lot of great advice about your next few years at university. I took a year out before university which meant I was a year older than a lot of people in my accommodation so it was great for me to meet people my age in societies.
3. It gets you involved in a sport
Obviously when joining a sports society there’s the benefit of keeping yourself active and healthy; which is a necessity if you want to try and avoid the “Freshman 15” – it’s a thing in the UK too people! I genuinely think I managed to get in better shape at university than I was at home from getting involved in sports – whenever I come back home I just end up eating everything and sitting around!
4. You’ll always have a group of people to go on socials with
Joining a society will mean you’ll get to go on socials (nights out/events) which, in my opinion, are some of the best times you will have at university. A lot of socials are normally themed costume nights which is always a lot of fun even if you’re not really into dressing up (don’t lie to yourself, you know you love it really) and are sometimes linked up with other clubs at your university. I mentioned in my previous advice for freshers post one of my favourite themed socials in my first year which was the banana social where everyone had to wear a banana costume and head to the club – the whole club was full of a squad of banana-costume-clad students.
5. Opportunity for something to write on your CV
If, for example, you were involved in a particular club throughout university and managed to make it onto the committee for that club, you could definitely include this in your CV for when it comes to applying for post-university jobs. Having a part in running the club is really impressive to an employer as it’s a great way to showcase examples of how you’ve applied or gained a certain skill.
6. Group holiday opportunities
Possibly the greatest perk of being involved in a society (particularly a sports one) is that there’s normally a huge society holiday once a year. In the UK we have something called Tour (I’m not sure if this happens anywhere else) where all the sports societies in the universities across the UK get together for a week of partying and playing sports abroad. Last year we went to Croatia but in the past they went to Spain and France. Not only do you get to meet people from different universities while you’re away but you also end up becoming better friends with everyone in your society.
Thanks for reading! I hope that I’ve managed to convince at least some of you to get involved in a society at university. Let me know in the comments what you thought of this post!