5 Non-Sporty Societies to Join At University

American Teen movies have a lot to answer for in shaping our perception of clubs and societies on campuses. Yet, if you don’t identify with the meat-headed jock or the quirky band nerd, these pervasive big screen stereotypes don’t help you visualise your society options at all. In actual fact, there is a world of variety on offer once you reach campus.

You will never have the same sort of opportunity to try out such a variety of clubs and interests as you do at university. Even though you are undoubtedly busy achieving your degree, university is still your best chance to indulge your hobbies and discover interests that could stay with you for your whole life.

Besides the obvious human need for fun and relaxation, societies can help you network and learn new skills. With all those positives in mind, you just need to work out which society is the right fit for you. Here are 5 non-sport societies that you could join at university.


A student media group


Almost every university will have some sort of student newspaper or student radio station. These media societies are not just for those interested directly in becoming a journalist or radio host. You can get involved in a lot of things behind-the-scenes such as marketing, editing or IT support. It helps give you the chance to be a part of something creative that has a measurable impact. You can see the direct results of your participation when that next issue of the newspaper or that new radio show goes live and it can be incredibly rewarding.

Importantly, these student media groups can get you noticed beyond just your campus. These activities help to prove the skills and passion needed to secure you a position after you graduate.


A society that matches your degree


This one is something of a no-brainer. If you are studying history, check out the history society. If you are studying literature, make sure you go along to that Writing Conference they are hosting. If you are studying German and notice that there’s a society holding a trip to Berlin, sign yourself up.

Not every subject will have a society directly related to it but you can usually find one that matches up closely enough. It is a great way to get to know your coursemates outside of the lecture theatre and form friendships that can benefit you both for group work or when revision time swings around.

If you are looking to pursue something as a career that relates directly to your subject, attending a society that holds talks or trips relating to that subject really proves your interest and dedication to that sector.


A volunteering society


Most of us genuinely want to give something back while enjoying our time at university. Universities have a variety of volunteering societies aiming to fundraise and support charities locally, nationally and internationally.

From mountain climbing to The Colour Run, university volunteering societies often think big. You may end up shaking a bucket at students on the plaza but that is unlikely to be the only way you can get stuck into helping out.

If you want to get involved in your community and make a difference, while enjoying new and unexpected experiences, join a volunteering society.


A debate society


Debate Club might not sound like the most glamorous society to try but it has a pedigree reaching back to the Classical World and is still relevant today.

The art of debate involves mastering skills that are universally valuable: public speaking, presenting logical arguments, and the willingness to listen and respond to others’ points of view.

This one is directly beneficial to your personal development and will net you skills that look phenomenal on a CV.

Debating can help open your mind and make you question your preconceptions. If not for this, then what is the point of university?


Something quirky


There really are a world of different societies on campuses. New ones are created every day by enthusiastic students and you are likely to come across ones that you wouldn’t ever have guessed exist.

Have you ever considered joining the Harry Potter Society, or the Tea Society, or the Pun Society? You could become a member of the Curry Appreciation Society or the B-Movie Society?

There’s nothing wrong with joining something purely for fun. You don’t have to join a society because you think it will look good on your resume. Equally valid incentives include giving yourself a safe place to de-stress during what can be some intense years of study, and looking to forge friendships that last well past graduation.


Cat Dennis is a history graduate living and writing in Canterbury. For more, visit Cat’s blog.

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