Just started university or are halfway through? Do you want to find like-minded people with similar interests? Then join a society at university! University can be a daunting and overwhelming experience so if you are feeling these emotions, you most certainly are not alone. On the other hand, you may have found starting university fairly straight forward and adjusted easily to your new routine. Either way, joining a society can produce numerous benefits both inside and out of university which we explain below.
A way to make friends
Moving to a new city or town can be lonely. You may feel you click with your house/flat mates and get on with your course mates, but you may not have all that much in common. By having a look at what societies your university offers on their website or in your student union, you may come across one that relates to your personal interests. University societies can be anything from sports teams, business or science societies, quidditch club, or the llama and alpaca appreciation society, the lists are endless! There are also often societies for people from a certain country or who have a certain religious belief which can be comforting for many. Finding other people with similar interests or cultural backgrounds can really help you settle into university life, and it makes it easier to make friends as you already have common interests.
Adding to your CV
Once you graduate from university and begin job hunting, or you are looking for a placement or internship, remember you will be compared to other candidates. It’s more than likely that they have done just as well as you in terms of degree level or academic achievements, so it’s beneficial to have extra- curricular activities to help you stand out from the crowd, especially those you have proactively chosen yourself.
For employers, joining a society shows you can keep up with your studies alongside having an active social life. Therefore, demonstrating constructive qualities such as time management and organisation. However, what can boost your CV more is if you have a key role in a society. For example, as a society president, vice president or treasurer. Having a say in the direction and running of a society can impress employer’s and should be mentioned on your CV as it shows you are a team player and can handle additional responsibilities. Furthermore, having a club or society on your CV can be a great conversation starter in an interview, also making you more memorable.
Taking time away from your studies – It is all very well doing well academically, but it is extremely beneficial to take time away from your studies by taking part in activities and societies that interest you. By being part of a society, means you have something else to focus on when it comes to exam times or when university becomes more stressful. Ensuring you have a regular group to meet up with, outside of your flat and course mates is healthy for the mind. It produces fresh convocations outside of your work.
A way to embrace new or old interests – When you join university, you may already have a go-to hobby or interest that you want to pursue during your time at university. However, you may want to learn something completely new, and university is the perfect time to do this. Whilst you are virtually commitment free, apart from your studies and potentially a part-time job, it’s a fantastic way to cement your commitment to an activity. By having a set dedicated time per week, even for a few hours, it is the ideal scenario to find out if it's an activity you want to pursue and if not, there is no pressure to continue it, and you can try something else!
When you eventually start a full-time job after university, you do not want to look back and regret all the things you did not take part in at university. Most likely you will be working a 35+ hour job and it could be harder to find the time to pick up new hobbies like learning a new language or a new sport. Moreover, university societies and clubs will often have funding behind them, which makes them cheaper to join rather than outside of university. For example, if you're deciding whether to join the ski society to go on a ski holiday, imagine how much that will cost later on in life compared to a student-deal ski trip.
In summary, university societies are beneficial to join, and they offer you many wonderful one-off opportunities that you may regret not taking part of later in life. They are a fantastic way to meet like-minded people, gain transferable skills, and it is a great bonus to have on your CV or a way to relax outside of study hours.
If you do join a society, make sure you get them to check out Kaampus, a society sponsorship platform that can help all sorts of societies financially across the UK as well as connecting society members with top UK employers.