Third year Politics Student Fiona gives you 7 reasons why you should join your academic society…
From someone who joined in second year and wished they’d joined earlier (but it’s never too late – I was still elected for a committee position!)
1. They are cheap (and good value) Most academic societies charge around £5 for a year’s membership. Depending on the events planned some are more expensive, and some are even free, but you’re almost guaranteed to get what you pay for
2. They are a great way to meet people on your course
It’s more difficult to meet people in lectures, so joining your academic society helps you break the ice and meet like-minded people in a relaxed social setting. Don’t underestimate how valuable it is to have good friends on your course when it comes to making study groups and getting help with your assignments; I found second year much easier than first year once I had a group of coursemates to support me.
3. They offer a range of events and activities (alcoholic and alcohol-free!) Academic societies are guaranteed to offer something for everyone from team events, field trips, nights out and guest speakers; you’ll never experience the same thing twice throughout the year.
4. Guest lectures or debates are great for providing wider context to your studies Societies and departments are usually good at attracting high-profile and interesting guest speakers to discuss current issues; attending these events are not just good for information and socialising but also help with understanding what you learn in lectures in a wider context. Who knows? Ideas from these might help provide a very relevant example that gives your essay that final boost.
5. They tend to be less regular and less time-consuming than other societies With no 7am practices, regular training or routine commitments, academic societies are great for fitting around your studies or part-time jobs. Most societies run socials or events a couple of times a month so participation is (mostly) guilt-free when you’ve got other things going on week on week.
6. The formals, balls or end of term parties are not to be missed Who doesn’t love to get dressed up and head to a new venue for nice wine and good food? When most of these are scheduled after exams or deadlines, they are the perfect way to treat yourself and celebrate with the people who made it through with you, whilst also being easy on your wallet.
7. They can increase your employability and look good on a CV Let’s not pretend that coming to university doesn’t at least have SOMETHING to do with getting a good job at the end of it all. Academic societies are a fun and rewarding way of boosting your appeal to employers, even just as a participant, but particularly if you run for a committee position.
Visit www.rusu.co.uk/activities to find out more about your academic society and explore some of the others on offer too!