What are societies?
Societies are a great way to meet new people who are not on your course and you might not otherwise meet. It is also a great way to do something other than study. There are all sorts of societies including Art, Bee Keeping, History, Negotiation, Quiz, and Tea Societies. There are also sporting societies including Canoe, Skydiving, Surf, Tai Chi, and Volleyball. You can find the full list of the societies on the University of York Student Union webpage – www.yusu.org. There will definitely be at least one society that piques your interest.
How do you join societies?
Each society requires you to have a membership, some of which cost money. Most societies offer two or three taster sessions where you can try out the society without buying the membership. Different societies meet at different times during the week and also arrange social gatherings outside of the usual meeting times. Societies often hold Christmas and Summer balls, as well as pub crawls and other get-togethers.
My first society meeting
My first experience going to a society was an interesting one, to say the least. I was on my way to the first meeting of the Sing Song Society. Finding the building was easy enough. People were lining up waiting for the society, checking their names and going into a large room. Relieved, I waited in the queue and struck up a conversation with the person next to me. As the queue moved forward I realised that something was wrong – I was in the wrong queue! Turning beet red, I asked one of the people in charge where I was supposed to be going and slowly sneaked away. Completely embarrassed, I made my way to the correct room.
After signing in, I sat down and managed to compose myself. The embarrassment was starting to wear off and my nerves started to kick in. The person next to me struck up a conversation and I got to know the people around me. I finally started to relax a little. Then we started singing. I loved it! It was completely different from anything I was already doing at the university. I was doing something I loved with other people who also loved it.
Why should you join a society?
As I mentioned earlier, societies allow you to meet other people that you may not ordinarily meet. You can also rekindle old hobbies, continue advancing your skills or learn a completely new hobby. There are lots of options to choose from.
Despite the embarrassment and nerves, I really enjoyed my first society meeting. It was definitely worth making a fool out of myself! My advice: accept that you will be nervous and go anyway. I doubt you will do anything half as embarrassing as I did!
Of course, remember not to overdo it. Meeting new people and trying new things is great, but bear in mind you also have to study and have time for yourself. Balance is key and, above all, have fun!