Student societies and sports clubs at York have been an amazing part of my university experience. As I come to the end of my second year at York and look back, societies have given me some of my best experiences at university. Not only have the huge range of societies allowed me to continue my existing hobbies but I have also been able to develop new interests. I have even somehow ended up helping to run one!
Continuing Hobbies and Interests
I was aware on coming to university that my main hobbies could perhaps be particularly niche. I absolutely love building and painting miniatures and playing Dungeons and Dragons. But I was thrilled to see societies at the Freshers’ Fair which would allow me to continue to pursue these hobbies. What was even better was they offered me a community of students who loved the same things as me. Something that I had not really had before.
York’s Dungeons and Dragons society has become a big part of my university life. Not only did they help me to find a great gaming group, but they also run amazing socials which have helped me meet some awesome friends. I absolutely love hanging out with people in their relaxed painting streams. They’re a really chill way to destress after a busy week.
Aiming for something new
I would fully recommend to any new student to use the great range of societies to try and pick up something new. Societies accept new members all year and York has loads. So there are plenty to explore to find the right one for you. York’s Students’ Union also runs Give It a Go, a programme where societies run free taster sessions. This is a great way to experience things before any commitment.
I had always wanted to practice archery, but I never really got the chance to take it up at home. I remember nervously turning up to the Give It a Go session and leaving having had a fantastic time! Afterwards, I was very quick to return to my room and sign up for a beginner’s course with the Archery Club. A year on, I would never have thought I would be attending weekly practice with my own kit and shooting with some brilliant people. It has been one of the best decisions I have made at university!
Getting more involved
Throughout my first year, I had been a member of the History Society, which had been a great way to help me find friends on my course. I had enjoyed the events that had been put on so much, that when the chance came in second year to join the committee, I went for it.
Being part of a society committee helps you build some great skills and close friendships. As the Academic Officer for the History Society, I get to engage with the History department and external speakers. Plus, gain experience in skills such as event planning and public speaking. If you find yourself really passionate about a society that you are part of, joining the committee can be a great way to get more involved.
I would definitely recommend that all students try and join a society or sports club, whether to keep a hobby going or to try a new one. It is super easy to get involved and everyone is really friendly. Societies will probably be part of some of your best university experiences. York has so many societies to choose from, so you will definitely find the right one for you.
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