When you start university, or even if you’re halfway through, you might be thinking about student life in London, or whether or not you should be joining a club or society. There are lots of great reasons for joining a society – from meeting new and like-minded people to having something else to add to your CV. So, let’s go through our top 6 benefits of joining a society at university.
Making friends | Joining a society
Some people find that moving to a new city can be a lonely time. You might get on well with your flatmates and classmates but feel like you don’t have all that much in common with them. By having a look at the societies your university offers, you might notice that there are groups of others just like you. Joining a society can mean joining anything from a netball team, a life drawing class to a society just for people from a certain country or who have a certain religious belief. Finding others with a similar cultural background to you can help you feel more at home in your new town or city.
Building up your network | Joining a society
You will meet hundreds if not thousands of people during your time at university. Many of those people will become useful for you later down the line. When it comes to finding work following university, your LinkedIn network (for example) could be invaluable in landing you a few interviews. Through all the people you meet through the societies or events you attend at university, you are opening up your network of connections. So it’s not only friends you’re making, but these people could find you a job, a house, a partner or even more friends, later on in life.
Break from your study | Joining a society
How busy you are throughout your academic year will ebb and flow. When it comes to the busier times, it’s important to take breaks from your study to do other things. Joining a society at university means you have something else to focus on when it comes to those busier and more stressful periods later on. Having a regular group to meet with, outside of your flat or class is a really healthy thing. It means fresh conversation and not talking about your studies for a few hours of the week.
Even better – by joining a society at university that’s active, you can work on your fitness and let off some steam at the same time. This is even more important during those busy and stressful times. Most universities will have a few sports teams. How about trying your hand at something new? Try netball, cheerleading, table tennis or something more easy-going like yoga or a running club.
Adding to your CV | Joining a society
When it comes to job hunting later on, remember that you will be compared to many other candidates, and they might have done just as well as you did when it comes to your degree level or academic achievements. One of the things that will help set you apart from other candidates is extra-curricular activities you’ve taken part in, and especially those that you’ve proactively chosen yourself. By joining a society at university, it shows that you can keep up with your studies alongside a busy and active social life. It really helps to demonstrate positive qualities like time management and organisational skills.
If you have a useful role in your society, make sure that you include that in your CV. For example, are you part of the group that organises the society’s events or activities? Are you in charge of the funds? Is part of your role interacting with external bodies like venues or even the university faculty or alumni? Any part you play in the society should be mentioned on your CV as it will show that you’re a team player and that you can handle additional responsibility on top of your academic work.
As well as this, the clubs or societies you’re a part of will be a great conversation starter at any interview you have. Hobbies can be a nice ice breaker and it helps make you that little bit more memorable which is pretty important if you’re just one out of tens of candidates they’re interviewing.
Learning how to balance life and work | Joining a society
Getting a degree-level qualification at university is important for so many reasons – from setting yourself up for your dream career to ticking a really difficult achievement off your list. There’s no doubt about it, university is hard work. After university, things will change as you find your first ‘proper’ job, but the work won’t stop. Learning how to balance your work with your life starts at university, if not before then. If you want to maintain a social life, a romantic life and/or keep up any hobbies you’re interested in, you will need to learn how to spin those plates without getting too overwhelmed or stressed.
Joining a society at university is a good way to add something else to the mix. It will help to balance your life out a little so that you have something else going on that’s not your academic work or hanging out at home with your flatmates. And, while you probably aren’t exactly tied to that society, there is an element of committing yourself to something where you have a responsibility to keep attending, even when things get a little tough. This is great training for what real life is like! When you start working, you will need to balance a few responsibilities at once – so why not get a head start at this and begin at university by joining a society?
Embracing new (or old) hobbies | Joining a society
Whether you already have a go-to hobby or interest that you want to keep up during your time at university, or you want to learn something completely new, joining a society is a great way to cement your commitment to that activity. Do you find you’ve always been meaning to take up something like life drawing? Or yoga? Or football? Well, now you can combine meeting some new and like-minded people with putting time towards that hobby. By having time dedicated to it, even if only a couple of hours a week, you will find out if it’s something you want to pursue. If not, you can always try your hand at something else.
When you start working after university, you don’t want to be regretting all the things you didn’t embrace at university. You’ll probably be working 35-40+ hours a week and you might just struggle to find the time to pick up interesting hobbies like learning how to use sign language, roller-skating or taking up a new sport. Plus, society-run activities tend to have a little bit of funding spent on them, so they will often be cheaper than they will be later on outside of university. So, if you’re thinking about joining the ski society for example, just think about how much a ski holiday will cost you later on down the line, compared to the deal the students will get on a university ski trip in the snow.
University is likely to offer you lots of wonderful one-off opportunities that you might regret not taking when you get a bit older and have a few more responsibilities to be worrying about.