Why You Should Join a Society at Plymouth University?
The Societies and Activities Fair in fresher’s week can be a bit overwhelming – so many societies to join, so many flyers and freebies! However, fresher’s week isn’t the only time you can join a club; most societies accept members all year. Actually, once you’ve settled in a bit is probably a better time to consider which clubs to join. If you’re unconvinced, continue reading for reasons why we think you should join a society this term.
Meet New People
Going to university is typically a time when you leave your hometown, part from your school friends and set off on your own into the big wide world. There are plenty of opportunities for making new friends at uni – people you live with, people you attend classes with, and of course, people you meet in clubs and societies. Also, joining a club means that you’ll be meeting like-minded people. It can be a bit of a gamble as to who you’ll be sharing classes with and who will end up in your flat share, but you know that people you meet in a society are friends you’ll have at least one thing in common with.
A Daily Mail article claimed that students gain as much as two stone during their first year at university. Once away from the watchful eye of Mum and Dad, many students spend their first few months at uni eating lots of junk food, with those surveyed in the article admitting to having fast food up to five times a week. With unhealthy food being an easy option, it wouldn’t be amiss to consider a sporting society to help you stay in shape. At Plymouth University, sporting societies to get your heart racing include scuba, archery, pole dancing and SUP.
On the staying healthy note, you can also join clubs to do with eating well. Many students struggle with cooking for themselves the first time they’re away from home, so joining a foodie society is a great way to brush up on your culinary talents.
Enhance Your CV
Joining a society at uni isn’t just about having fun and meeting people – it can actually give you better job opportunities for when you graduate. Being a member of a society for an extended period of time shows that you have sticking power, and if you hold a position of responsibility it will look even better. Being part of a society can open up other opportunities to you – for example, when I founded a knitting society at my uni, I was invited on a first aid training course (which I later found out was for sporting societies – apparently knitting counts as an ‘extreme sport’!) Think about what qualities your future employers are keen on (for example – leadership, public speaking, voluntary work) and join societies where you can grow those abilities.
Learn a New Skill
Perhaps there was something you fancied trying when you were in school but none of your mates would join with you? University is the time to reinvent yourself, to be who you want to be – to join a society on your own if no-one you know wants to join with you. If you aren’t sure which society to join, pick something random or quirky. There are plenty of unusual societies out there (such as the Harry Potter society, circus society, geek society and Ukulele society, just to name a few). Be brave and try something new.
Going to uni isn’t all about studying. Joining a society can help you remember that the uni experience isn’t 100% academic. Without being part of something, your free time can easily translate into hanging around in your flat or just going down to the pub several times a week, which can be expensive! Make the most of your free time by doing something new, learning something you’ve always wanted to learn, or just chilling out in an environment that doesn’t revolve around alcohol.
Make Your Own!
If you really can’t find a club that excites you, start your own! Importantly, this is useful because you’ll be in a position of leadership (great for the CV). Talk to people you know from your course or accommodation and get people enlisted – you need a minimum number of students interested to set up a new club, and it has to be unique to the societies already on offer. For more information on how to set up your own society at Plymouth University, click here: https://www.upsu.com/societies/
When it comes to societies, there’s something for everyone – if your mates won’t join with you, join anyway and meet lots of new people. University is a time of endless opportunities and there are countless students who look back on their student days and wish they’d done more with their time. Don’t be one of those people! Here is your top checklist of things to remember when picking a society:
- Choose something you already enjoy
- Join something you really want to try
- Don’t be afraid of joining something by yourself
- Pick something that enhances your study (music students – join a band! Law students – join a debating team)
- Think about what will enhance your CV for the future
- Whatever you do… have fun!