Joining a club or society is an essential part of the university experience.
You could get fit with a group of like-minded others, learn a new craft, make new friends outside of
your course and accommodation, give something back to the local community, or get yourself job
ready by building leadership and interpersonal skills.
So… assuming you’re bought in to joining a university club or society, how do you go about choosing
the right one for you? Here are four ‘dos’ to help you.
Do some research
First, get exploring the university website to look at all the possible clubs and societies you could join.
There might be a society fair in freshers’ week where all the clubs and societies are represented,
providing more information about what they do and maybe a taster.
There will literally be hundreds of societies on offer and something for everyone. Let’s take a look at
some of the Mezzino locations and what the universities have to offer: Manchester covers everything
from knitting to scuba diving, Dundee has a sustainable fashion society and a medieval reenactment
society, and Nottingham Trent has a Bollywood dance society and a Hula Hooping society!
Do try a few
Don’t settle for one society, try several to find the one that suits you. Most societies welcome
complete beginners and will understand if you want to have a taster before you commit. Depending
on what you want to get out of joining you could make a choice on the society for you based on how
friendly it is, how organised it is, how much it costs, and what support is on offer if you are a novice.
Do keep going
They’ll always a time when you don’t fancy going along to a meeting of the society because you’ve
had a tough day at university or it’s chucking it down with rain outside. Make sure to put the regular
meeting in your calendar so it becomes part of your university rhythm.
If you’ve made a commitment to the group, try and make it along to each meeting and support others
with the society. Being part of a team and keeping resilient are good skills to develop to support your
Do find a role
When you are an established member of a society you may want to take on responsibilities to help
maintain and grow the club. This is a great way to develop your organisational, management,
interpersonal and leadership skills.
You could look after the group’s finances, its communications, help with recruitment or take on a
pastoral role to help new members.
If you are ambitious and can’t find an existing club or society that interests you, why not set one up
yourself? All you need is energy, a group of people with a shared passion or common purpose, and
ideas on how to organise and structure the meetings. This would be a great university experience and
universities will normally have support on offer to help you get started.