I’m Alice, a third year (now graduate) Education Studies student.
In the past three years I’ve been on the committee for three different societies and been a regular member for eight plus others. There are multiple reasons why you should sign up to a society (or societies if you can find multiple ones that suit your interests!) and I’ll be giving five points to get you started.
1. They’re great places to meet new people that share your passions and interests.
There are a range of societies on campus, from Coffee to Afro Caribbean, to Gaming and Dodgeball, so you’ll surely find something that’s interesting. Even if you spot something that you’re not usually interested in, the relaxed nature of the societies here will hopefully entice you to try out something new! If not, then ARU Students’ Union is here to help you set up one that is!
2. You may not realise it at first, but they can help you broaden out your skills from what you learn on your course.
And no, this doesn’t only apply to course based societies either! While the Paramedic, Nursing or Education society will definitely help you broaden your skills outside of your course, being part of interest based ones will definitely help too. For example, the Yoga society may provide you with ways to relax at home, Cakes and Bakes society will give you new icing skills or the Tamli society may help you develop your leadership and management skills.
3. They’re a nice break from your lectures, seminars or practical sessions.
The majority of societies are there to try and provide a welcoming environment where you can take a break from academic life, use it! Even the course based societies provide events that will help you relax outside of academic hours. With all the hard work that comes with studying, you need some time to relax and take your mind off it all. And what better way to do that then with a cup of Tea or Hot Chocolate, Pokemon or Stand up Comedy?
4. Many societies can get you involved with your local community, holding fundraisers to give you the chance to give back to a local charity.
Often they will ask for help in raising money, help making and baking for the events or just ask you to come along to the event they’re holding! It’s definitely worth getting involved in at least one of these events to see how it runs and feel more a part of the society itself.
The students’ union website has the list of all the societies available on the Cambridge and Chelmsford campuses, so I hope you find an interesting society on there! Coming from a student who has seen the joys of what a society can do, they’re definitely worth the time and effort. Even if you can only come along a handful of times a semester, getting engaged with the societies and the students’ union can make the world of difference for your time at university.