When you start uni, there are a lot of changes; especially as an international student. New responsibilities, new people, new environment and new opportunities, including every society you can think of (so many of them, Freshers’ Fair might take 2 hours to get through)! You want to do and try everything. But soon the realization hits you that even in uni, we only have 24 hours in a day and you need to make a game plan (and stick to it).
Trying things out
In the first week after Freshers’ Fair a lot of societies provide free ‘try-out’ sessions, which is a great way to understand whether you want to be part of the society or not. I managed to save £16 this way (a whole week’s worth of food)!
Some of my housemates and I decided to go for dancing lessons and it ended up being super fun. I guess I have to note that almost none of us have ever done dancing, so you can only imagine! Moreover, it helped us to decide which of the many dance styles is most fitting for us (and which we should probably only experience from the audience’s standpoint).
Applying for bigger responsibilities
You are a Fresher. Second and third years seem to know everything about anything, and you are still trying to figure out where to put washing powder in ‘Circuit’ washing machines (real struggle). And where was that email about the VLE? Top tip – bookmark that at the moment when you receive it. Naturally, it seems intimidating to apply for such roles as producer or director; but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.
I’ve done improvisation theatre for 5 years, but I had never directed a thing in my life. However, when I received an email about an opportunity to direct Comedy Society’s Freshers’ Sketch Show, I decided to apply. I didn’t think much of it, and even forgot about it because I was so convinced that I wasn’t going to get the role. I kept thinking, ‘There are probably much more capable people than me’, ‘I don’t know anything’ and ‘I don’t even speak English that well’. But then, I received an email with an offer to become a co-director of the show. So, I decided to give it a go!
Now, only a week away from the show, I can tell you that just a simple ten-minute application form allowed me to meet some of the funniest, talented people. I also learned a tonne about show production whilst working alongside some very helpful and supportive people. Second and third years are there to help. Don’t be scared to ask whatever questions you might have (even if it’s not about the project).
What society to choose?
You can join any society, and by all means, don’t hesitate to join Cocktail Society or Fetish Society if that’s what you are about! Why not? Though you might also want to consider joining a society that is somehow linked to you course; for me, it was YSTV (York Student Television).
During the first term, the timetable is not that intense and you will have time to work on side projects that will improve your portfolio. Joining a society is a great way to meet people that you can collaborate with, as well as get access to equipment to do the project. Moreover, chances are that you will work alongside older years who can share their experiences and give you helpful advice on how to get through the course (or how to survive uni altogether). Not to mention the marvellous people that you meet along the way.
At the moment, being part of societies is the number one thing that is shaping my uni experience. It is an amazing way to explore unknown grounds, meet the nicest people and just have a good time. Why not give it a go?