One of the main things that is advertised as a perk of university is societies, along with sports clubs (I wasn’t part of any of these, as team and competitive sport really isn’t my thing so this post won’t go into these). However, before you get to uni it can be a little confusing as to what societies are, what they do, how you can get involved, and how they can benefit you. But don’t worry, as a recent graduate who was on the committee of a society for two years, I have all the info you’re going to need!
What is a Society?
A society is essentially a club. They organise social events and activities for their members such as quizzes, pub crawls, open mics, trips to different places, and lots more! They are present at every uni and are run by students for students. Most societies will have a small membership fee (depending on how they are funded and what activities they do the price may differ) but there are also always lots of events that are open to non-members should you not want to buy a membership!
What Societies are There?
This is completely dependent on your university, but most unis will have course-based societies such as The English Literature Society, Philosophy Society, Maths Society etc. Any course there is, there is probably a society for it! There are also lots of hobby based societies too such as baking societies, Disney societies, gaming societies and lots more! There are also cultural based societies too, my university had an Asian society, an Irish society, a Korean society and so many more! You can also get involved in charity societies who focus on raising money for specific non-profits like Water Aid or Coppafeel. There are also political societies, and arts based societies (like theatre, or live music).
The final type of society is kind of in a category on its own and this is student media. This usually consists of the university’s TV channel, radio channel, newspaper, and magazine. These are all perfect for budding journalists!
If you have an idea for a society but it doesn’t already exist you can apply to your students union to set one up!
What Will I Get Out of a Society?
This is possibly the most important question. Again depending on the society you will get different things, but the main purpose of every club is to create a safe space for like-minded people to socialise and make friends.
If you’re somebody who is struggling to make friends with your flatmates in first year, societies are a great place to start finding your group of people! As most events are some form of activity, whether it’s watching an open mic or doing a quiz, there’s lots of opportunities for ice-breakers.
Other than making new friends, there are lots more benefits to joining a club at uni! It’s a great way to discover a new city, as events can take place anywhere and many societies will do coffee or pub crawls so you can learn your way around! It’s also a brilliant way to learn new skills, especially if you join the student media! You could learn anything from how to produce a radio show, to how to bake a complicated cake!
What It’s Like Being on a Society Committee
I was lucky enough to be the Social Media Officer for Cardiff University’s English Literature Society for two years. So I know a little of what being on a society committee is like! The committee are the students that organise events and do the daily running of a society.
I can’t say enough good things about being able to be involved in a student community on this level. Not only do you learn teamwork, leadership, organisational, and event planning skills, but depending on your role you’ll also learn so much more!
As social media officer I was in charge of running all of our socials and keeping members informed of what was going on through these and through group chats. Alongside this I would also help other committee members with other tasks such as planning our annual ball, planning and hosting events, and so much more! All of these things look great on a CV so if you see a role you’re interested in doing for a society then you should definitely do it!
I hope this post was somewhat insightful into what you can expect from a university society! Please leave me a comment with any questions you have!