My name is Mollie, and I’m in my final year as a geography student at the University of Huddersfield. During my first year, I decided I would wait until my second year to join societies. In my first week, I did attend the welcome fair where societies gather to provide you with information about what they do. My decision to wait was solely because I was commuting and wanted to get used to the workload and how I would balance that with my commute before adding any more commitments.

Welcome week things to do

When I reached my second year I decided to join two societies, they had been moved to online events though due to government restrictions. Whilst I am still happy that I waited, I was wrong about the level of commitment that joining a society would require. Societies are there for you to enjoy, and most importantly, to attend when you have the time to, thus allowing you to prioritise work and still be a member of a society.

There are so many societies to choose from, it can actually be hard to pick from all of the options, but luckily you are not limited to how many societies you can be a member of. There are too many groups to list but there are a variety of sports societies, societies based on different film/book franchises such as the Harry Potter and Disney societies, religious societies, mental health societies, cooking/baking societies, societies for coffee lovers, art enthusiasts and more. What's even better is that you can create your own society if you think of something new!

badminton - clubs blog

Each society has different opportunities and activities. In most sports societies you can expect to meet weekly or biweekly for practice and may have the opportunity to attend sporting tournaments/events. Other societies are more casual and have a society group chat and then events which you can attend such as nights out, movie nights, café trips, coffee mornings and group visits. For example, the Harry Potter Society aims to visit the Warner Brothers Studios in London regularly.

society - making friends blog

As mentioned above, I am a member of two societies, the Disney Society and the Mental Health Society. I chose to become a member of the Disney Society based on my interests, whereas I chose to become a member of the Mental Health Society to join a network of people who have experienced mental health conditions, or just want to better their own mental health in general.

Both societies offer fun activities which I can attend when I want to. Some of the things we do in the Disney Society include Wednesday film nights which have still occurred virtually during time spent at home. There has also been a mad hatters tea party and a virtual tournament.

As a member of the Mental Health Society, I’ve had the opportunity to attend wellbeing activities such as Zumba, yoga, baking, crafting, movie nights and themed nights for Halloween, Christmas, and Bonfire Night.

The activities for both societies have not only allowed me to connect with other people with the same interests as me, but they’ve also given me time away from the academic side of the university experience. I’ve found this time away to be beneficial to me as a student still living at home and not having the connections to flatmates and hall residents.

Possibly one of the best parts about being in a society is the opportunity to expand your friendship groups and connections whilst at university. If like me, you are on a course with smaller classes, societies can increase the number of people you interact with at university and means you are not restricted to one group of people. This opens you up to even more opportunities, such as spending time outside of the society with your new friends. Whilst my contacts have been slightly more limited with the restrictions that were in place last year, I am looking forward to returning to in-person events and meeting the members in both societies and making new friends.

BAME societies blog

You also must not forget the subject societies which are available for your specific course. My course members and I are part of the Geography Society which provides opportunities to attend trips and also creates a network of geography students in different stages of their course.

Green campus society

My biggest top tip when joining a society is to get stuck in and not worry about not knowing other people. Everyone there has something in common with you as they are also interested in the society, so it won't be long until you feel comfortable in that group of people.

My final tip is to spend less time worrying and more time engaging yourself in university life, so you have no regrets come graduation day and have the opportunity to leave with long term friends.


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