The Societies


Now you’re settled in and enjoying the fun of Fresher’s week, it’s time to consider student life between the studying bits. Here’s the lowdown on what societies should be worth your time come fresher’s fair.

Academic Societies

 This should be a no-brainer, really. Whatever you’re studying there should be a society for it available and honestly, the activities they set up are a great resource for enhancing class work, usually with a glass of wine or something similar in hand. Though maybe take it easier than you would with your mates outside of class, sure the final year students won’t care too much but the people you’ll be working alongside for a few years might not be so forgiving…

On top of this, the societies usually organise days out and other non-alcoholic activities, so the stuff you’ll be getting involved with will never be dull or feel like work at all.

Sports Societies

These societies are a great way of getting into the sports you always wanted to try but were too afraid to ask. Badminton? Sure! Ultimate frisbee? Why not! Quidditch?! Well…

These societies are taken just as seriously as the academic types, what with tournaments and rivalries between many universities it’ll be a great chance to get your face out there and maybe even represent your uni in the sport if you so chose. If not then it’s a great way to have fun and get fit while not having to fork out as much as you might for a typical gym membership. Only thing is, sports socials tend to have a bit of a reputation to get somewhat extreme in their habits. Believe me, you’ll be able to spot these socials a mile away on a night out.

Media Societies

For the creative types, there are all sorts of outlets at every university in which you can get involved: from radio to student papers, maybe even TV! It’s a whole lot of fun to be a part of if you’re creatively minded, and for the more shy among you it’s a great way to get more confidence and learn some things along the way. Who knows, maybe you’ll find your true calling?

Politics and Religion

Politics are a great thing to get involved with especially given recent circumstances, but honestly this is entirely your call. As someone who joined a political society at university out of a casual interest on arriving at university, I learned quickly that the student side of politics is very intense. So if that’s what you’re looking for then go for it! If you’re not entirely convinced but you’re happy paying the membership regardless, give it a go for the first year and see how you feel.

Religious societies, likewise, are very much for the people already invested. They’re always present on campus doing all sorts of good for many different causes, but the day to day is very much a case of “in with the in crowd”. It’s definitely not for the agnostic amongst you.

Everything Else

At every university there’s going to be a whole bunch of stuff that doesn’t really fit into any of the above categories. Despite that there’s bound to be a group for pretty much everything you’re into. Superhero movies, fantasy books, close harmony vocal group singing, pottery, beards, video games, the lot. They’re a fun way of getting to meet like minded people which, in those uncertain first few weeks, will be a lot of help in getting more established in your new home.

 Bear in mind, however, that a lot of these are basically just a front to get absolutely plastered, but at least there’s a good chance that’ll come hand in hand with some engaging conversation about one thing or another. In the end though, it’s entirely down to you. And who knows, you may fall in love with one society so much that you end up running the whole thing a year or so later!

Words by Simon Whitlock

Featured image photo credit: Leeds University Union

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