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Advice & Wellbeing

Should I join a Society?

By FrenchayRAs 05 Oct 2020

If you’re anything like me, I didn’t think about societies before coming to University. My goals were passing the University interviews, getting the grades and securing my place in my first choice University, being UWE. I hadn’t actually thought about what I’ll do when I had got here. But looking back, maybe I should have been more resourceful and explored all the opportunities the University offered; including the massive variety of societies!

When I arrived at halls, all my housemates already knew what societies they were signing up for and trialling – this is when in it dawned on me that I hadn’t even thought about societies at all. I’d spent the summer partying with my friends, going on holidays and waiting for my A level results – societies wasn’t on my mind. My housemates reassured me that this was fine because fresher’s fair was within the next week!

a close up of a book

Freshers’ fair consists of a huge exhibition, free for all students to attend. The fair is filled with clubs and societies trying to attract your attention, the societies range from snow sports to animation, paintball to poker, quidditch to knitting – there are over 200 stalls, with plenty of things to do, people to meet and freebies to get! You can also find out about numerous volunteering, fundraising opportunities and part-time work that are available for you to take part in alongside your studies. As you can imagine this could be quite overwhelming, but you have to embrace every moment of it.

This year Freshers Fair is going virtual. Tune in on Friday 9 October to learn more about everything on offer at The SU. There will be sports clubs, societies, freebies and more! ALL students are welcome, so sign-up! Learn more about the fair and freshers 👉 https://bit.ly/33WvS12

a group of people sitting at a table in a restaurant

Coming towards the end of the freshers’ fair I spotted the stall ‘Move programme’, a fitness programme involving a variety of activities held every day of the week. I noticed Zumba and Yoga on the list thinking to myself this programme is perfect; I’d have a weekly routine of activities and meet friends along the way. Hence, I kept this programme in mind.

a group of people sitting at a table

Many of my friends had joined societies straight away. One of my housemates dragged me to the hockey try outs - most sport societies give taster sessions which I think is brilliant. Before agreeing to joining and submitting the fees, you are able to decide whether you think the sport is right for you – Hockey was certainly not my sport!! I was aware that I was still settling into this new environment and routine and I wasn’t ready to begin or join anything yet.

Over the Christmas break, I’d decided to join the Move programme. I began by getting involved in a rock climbing 6-week course and gained qualifications (The university has its own indoor climbing wall!). Whilst doing this I made a really good friend and we’ve kept in touch by meeting up for coffee every so often. In addition, I attended the Zumba and Yoga classes where I made friends with a girl who actually lives in the same town as me back at home! 

Up until the virus outbreak I was part of the programme and fully enjoyed every aspect. 

a close up of a woman

What I learnt is that everyone is different, there are so many benefits to joining clubs and societies. It opens your social life, perhaps encourages you to step out of your comfort zone, enables you to learn new things – I could go on. But, don’t feel pressured to join. The majority of my course mates haven’t joined anything and that’s okay too. Do what’s best for you! If you discover the perfect club for you then go for it! If not, perhaps you can make your own club?

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