So, you’ve arrived at university, a fresh undergrad from a small town no one’s ever heard of. Perhaps you’re standing in the middle of Freshers Fair and asking yourself, where do I go from here?
University is a time of great change, and even greater opportunities. The education we’re receiving is no-doubt important for so many reasons; from setting yourself up for a future career, to developing personal and professional skills for potential employers. And with the hustle and bustle of university life, you’ll still have other interests and hobbies outside of your course.
However, you might be thinking, what if I don’t have time to join a society? What if I join one and I don’t enjoy myself? Tell me one good reason why I should believe all the hype about societies.
Well, in short, there’s many:
And whilst you’re here, check out the range of clubs and societies we have to offer at Aston! Visit: https://www.astonsu.com/union/student-activities/clubs-and-societies/
1. Following your passion.
I won’t lie, university can be quite intense. Maybe you’re trying to keep up with the lecture content, or there’s a 3,000-word essay that’s taking up most of your time. But the fact of the matter is, none of that should prevent you from continuing to pursue what you enjoy.
It’s easy to forget that your life doesn’t stop after fresher’s week. And if anything, this is your sign to join these societies. Take this opportunity to develop your interests and skills, no matter what that may be.
Better yet, maybe this is the perfect opportunity to discover new hobbies and interests you didn’t even realise you had! Joining a drama society in my first year, I had no idea I could perform on a stage, or even take an improv class! So, why not give it a go? Try out for the hockey team, or even discover your ability to give a good debate.
2. Meeting new people.
Being in an entirely different environment, you’re faced with new names, new faces, and entirely new personalities. It can all feel incredibly daunting, but think of this is an advantage! Now is the time to find your people, the friends you’ll make for life. You simply need to get out there and find them. And what better way to do it than in a society?
Whilst you’ll have something in common with your course mates considering you’ve both chosen to study the same subject, remember there’s more to you than just your course. Societies are the best way to find people who have the same interests and skills as you. The thought of meeting new people seems intimidating at first, but I guarantee it’s worth the relationships and interpersonal skills you’ll develop throughout your time at university.
3. Confidence building!
Believe it or not, meeting new people will work wonders for your communication skills, and your ability to integrate with others! It’s an important quality that employers are always looking for, and most of all, it’s a useful skillset for life.
Joining university as a very timid person who loathed speaking to new people, it’s impressive the think how joining a society changed all of that. By engaging with others, working in teams, even meeting up outside society times to hang out, my confidence only began to flourish. It reflected in the way I carried myself, through my interactions with friends, course mates, and even with future employers. Better yet, it’s what landed me my placement! 😊
4. Enhancing your CV.
At this point, you might still be pondering over whether joining a university society will do you any good, but trust me; your CV will thank you.
Employers look for those who can demonstrate a balance between their responsibilities and their social life. And what better way to showcase this than by keeping up with a club or society alongside working hard to obtain a 2:1 in your degree? This will really make you stand out in the hiring process, as well as it being a nice discussion point in interviews.
As a major bonus, the list of relevant skills you can gain is endless; from teamwork, time management and problem-solving, to leadership, organisation, and developing excellent communication skills! If that wasn’t enough, going the extra mile to become a prominent member of the society committee will enhance your position of responsibility. All simultaneously preparing you for the working world!
5. Most of all, a break from studying.
There will certainly be times where you’ve overworked yourself from coursework, essays, or even staying in the library for an extra hour to cram in that final bit of revision. University, for the most part, is about obtaining a degree, but how are you expected to work well when you’ve exhausted yourself from writing that 3,000-word essay?
To sum all my points up, getting involved in your choice of society will allow you to have some fun. Getting out of the library for a few hours, focusing your time on an interest or hobby you love, and even having a good laugh with people who share the same interests as you. Think of it as a nice balance; keeping up with your studies gives you a real sense of achievement, and getting involved with a society will keep you uplifted throughout your time at university.
There’s no doubt that your time at university will challenge how you prioritise time to your degree. But the truth is, this time will also fly by before you even know it. So think of university as your oyster, and take on the opportunities it has to offer.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, back to improv classes…
Written by Tahani