Lifestyle Editor | Kyrie Roxby
Starting university can be both exciting and intimidating. You’re away from home for long periods of time in a completely unfamiliar place. But, university life presents so many unique opportunities, both academic and socially. Freshers’ week is all about learning your way around, acclimating to the atmosphere, newfound independence and making friends. We all know the huge cliché about the friends you make here being friends for life. Sports clubs and societies present an excellent way to fill your Freshers’ week with events and meet new people.
Do your research
The Student Union (SU) runs over 100 sports clubs and societies to choose from. Societies have been categorised into: Activity and Interest (like Hiking, Humans vs Zombies, etc.); Creative Arts (Comedy, Dance, Drama, Fashion, Film, Writing, etc.); Cultural and Faith (representing different countries and religions); Political and Ideological (Amnesty International, LGBTQ+, etc.) and the Academic and Departmental. Make a mental list of all the societies you’d potentially like to join and browse the A-Z list on the SU website here to see what’s there and where to buy your membership later.
Next, go to the Freshers’ Fair. Here you can introduce yourself to the students on the committee running the societies at their stand and get bombarded with information about what the society is up to and upcoming socials… plus a load of free stuff. Last year there was free Domino’s pizza. That’s worth going for alone. The Shakespeare society also gave out condoms (clearly knowing their audience). Free food and safe sex, everything a student could wish for!
Once you’ve met the committee members and found out all about the society, fill your calendar and go to as many society tasters as you can. Don’t be afraid to turn up alone either. Everyone new feels awkward at first. While it can be nice to bring someone along, going alone will force you to interact more.
Tasters are a great opportunity to meet others at events with similar interests, such as gathering with like-minded geeks at the Harry Potter society. Most societies meet once a week, unless there are any trips or events planned.
The standard membership is £7 per society, on top of the £12 SU membership fee. Don’t rush or feel pressured into paying membership to be part of the society without knowing if you’ll turn up for everything. Narrow down your list within the first couple weeks. I’d recommend joining only one or two at the most. You won’t have time for much else, and it’s a waste of time and money that could otherwise be spent on food and alcohol! However, being a member does make tickets for things like masquerade balls cheaper.
At the end of the day, societies are a great way to take part in university activities, continue meeting people with similar interests and make memories of some of the best years of your life.
Hope this was useful! If you have anymore questions, leave a comment in the box below or e-mail us!