It is undeniable that, when you join university club or society you take a break from academia and use your spare time more profitably than to party – though partying can be useful too.
In Clubs and Societies, you will meet and interact with various talents and impactful groups and organisations ranging from sports teams to debating clubs to political societies. If clubs and societies would be of interest to you, follow this guide.
Do you have the time to commit?
There are over 100 clubs and societies covering a wide variety of interests available for you to join or attend. At this point, you must consider your willingness to commit part of your spare time to the society. In sports, if you are looking to stay healthy, learn a new sport or just be active during the week, then some early morning times and some evenings wouldn’t be yours to take.
If you can’t sacrifice some time or show up half the time, then there is no point getting involved in a club or society. Before deciding, attend clubs and societies’ introductory sessions. At these initial meetings, you will have the chance to meet current members and seek information about commitments and other important issues.
Are you ready to open up?
It can be a lonely ride because everyone else holds "the society’s opinion". If politics or social justice or advocacy is your interest, you must be ready to reorient yourself because societies may not do what they say. It is likely that many of the groups that fall into these categories (specific political parties, feminist societies and the like) will hold a particular viewpoint. It is your responsibility to gather all relevant information and scrutinise their activities before jumping on, because if you do decide to jump out, it may work against you in future, especially if you choose to run for positions either at the JCR or SRC or even other clubs executive committee.
Will you choose comfort?
Again, this is about activist groups and political organisations. If you decide to finally become a member, you are not obliged to participate in all the society’s events. Imagine that you are a member of a feminist society and the executive announces that they are organising a protest at a brothel to save underage girls being used for prostitution, it might get somewhat complex. You must beware.
Will you attempt something new?
Definitely! Try new things because that is what university if about.
Your experience at the university will depend profoundly on what you make of it. When you join a club or society in third year, you will miss a lot. You may later find out that it’s tremendous and wishing you had joined in first year would be a great regret. Start as early as possible.
But the important thing to do is not be afraid to take a leap and try something new.
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