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Making new friends and fitting in can be a challenge for many students in the first few weeks of university. One of the best ways to help settle into university, is to join a university society where groups of like-minded students get together to take part in a range of activities and socials, from sports, hobbies, music and much more.
There are so many benefits to joining a society, however, with so many on offer, it can sometimes be overwhelming joining the right one.
So we've compiled a guide to help you out on your uni society journey, covering the wide range of benefits from joining a group, to how to narrow down the societies you want to be in, and how to balance your studying and social life when joining a society for the long run.
If you'd like to write for our student and graduate blog programme and gain valuable copy-writing experience, get in touch below:
One of the main benefits of joining a uni society is the chance to meet new and like-minded people. With so many societies on offer, you can easily find people who share the same views and interests as you - meaning you have lots in common and plenty to talk about!
From Veganism society, to Star Wars, to Classical Music, you can join a group which draws like-minded students together and find people who you're likely to get on with.
Many societies and groups also have regular meet ups throughout the week. This is a great way to add some positive structure to your routine and ensure you're regularly meeting up with friends.
Joining a society is a fantastic way to make new friends and help you settle into university, check out our blog for more useful tips.
Joining a society is a fantastic way to build on your current skillset, or try something totally new! If you’re a music lover, you may want to join the local music society and learn how to use the latest music production software, but why not try out creative writing or even graphic design?
All of these skills can feed into you career opportunities or help develop your artistry, try something new and you won’t regret it!
It's also important to add, that you don't just have to join one society. If you have a break in your timetable, or have free time at the weekend, why not join a second society and try out something completely different. Volunteering for a charity or organisation is a fantastic new hobby to pick up, and can help boost your employability. Check out our blog for more of the benefits of volunteering.
In many societies there is often the opportunity to secure a more senior position, such as President, Treasurer or Social Secretary.
Holding one of these positions is a great way to gain invaluable experience for your graduate CV, and will stand you in a fantastic position when it comes to applying to graduate jobs. Check out the latest graduate jobs across the UK:
Another benefit of university societies are the social events that they organise. Many societies organise nights out in your city, a chance to meet up with other local similar societies and other fun social activities.
These events are a great way to get to know your new city, and take part in new experiences, that often may be out of your comfort zone and are a great way to try something new. These social events are also a nice way to bond with others and strengthen friendships!
Although entering a group of new people can be a challenge if your socially anxious, pushing yourself into these new situations can be hugely beneficial for your mental health and confidence.
Soon you’ll be chatting to people who were once complete strangers, making friends in the process. This will in turn help you on your course when it comes to public speaking or group work, further building your employability for future jobs in the process.
For more ways to look after your mental health at university, check out our blog.
Before joining a society, have a think about what you’d be most interested in devoting your free time to. This could be your favourite hobby, a skill you want to develop or just something new you’d like to try but haven’t had the chance to before Uni.
This will help you slim down the wealth of society choices offered at most Universities and focus your extracurricular activities around areas of interest that you will continue to be excited by for months to come.
Once you’ve narrowed down your choices of society, give a few taster sessions a go. These can be physical or online meetings where the group is introduced, and its members welcome each other.
These sessions can give you a sample of the kind of activities you’ll be participating in throughout the societies’ course and are also great ways to make new friends in your first few weeks of Uni.
Although the current coronavirus restrictions make physical meetings unlikely when joining a society, online groups are still active and can help you network with the groups’ members remotely.
Try signing up for email newsletters and social media notification that will inform you of new events in the process of being organised so that you can plan ahead and secure your involvement with the group.
Another great wat to learn more about a society, is to get in touch with the society organiser or president, either via email or social media. Ask them to explain a bit more about the society and what it involves, this will help you understand if you think you'll enjoy and be suited to this group.
Their knowledge can help you further narrow down your preferred societies as you can hear first-hand from them what their highlights of the society have or have been.
When you engage with society leaders, also ask about how much time commitment will be required, as you need to ensure you’re not overstretched so much that your studying will be impacted.
This is an important consideration as although trying out new groups is enjoyable and stimulating, becoming involved with too many that take up large amounts of free time can cause stress around the busiest times of your coursework (e.g. during exam periods).
If this might be a concern for you, choose groups with smaller time requirements or scale back your activates during work heavy times and focus on finishing your course to the highest level possible.
If you often find yourself procrastinating from your university work, we've put together a helpful guide on how to stop procrastinating and be as productive as possible!
Managing a society is like managing a job alongside your studies, you need to have a good work-life balance and stay organised to ensure you can take part in all your activities.
Visit our blog for tips on finding and managing part-time jobs at university.
Joining a university society has a wealth of benefits that can help you settle in and really make your time at university.
So don't be afraid to try something new, get involved and put yourself out there, this will not only boost your employability, but help you discover what you may want to persue a career in!