How many societies should we join at university?Watch
From the experience of current university students, is this too many? I want to be reasonably active in all of them (and perhaps devote most of my effort into one, for example) but I do want some free time all to myself too.
I probably won't be able to be as active on my second year, so I would cut down then, but is six alright?
What about you all? What societies are you interested in?
- Study Helper
At the moment, I'm heavily involved in one society (see the video in my sig) where I spend most of my time when I'm not with my course/flatmates. I'm also involved in one sports society just to keep me active and hang around with the great people that are there. I could push up to getting involved with 3 societies, but, as you say, you need time to work as well!
Usually societies will have taster sessions. Go along to them before deciding on whether you want to pay membership and check your time constraints, but you will definitely have time for at least 2, maybe 3 or 4 if you manage your life effectively
EDIT: There are also those societies that won't live up to your expectations too, so it may be easier to cut down than you think
I would say it is hard to throw yourself too hard at too many, most of my friends are kayakers but you can do things like play football once a month as well.
I would say 4 societies is beginning to reach the limit, but don't necessarily worry about choosing before you go, I thought I was going to get heavily involved in sailing and then I met the people and they although lovely weren't my kind of people so it didn't work out as I had suspected.
- Study Helper
If you're a member of the board game society, you will meet and play board games. If you're a member of the tea society, you will meet and drink tea
Other societies may have different agendas. If you're a member of a charity society, you may do fundraising etc.
However at my busiest point I was president of one society, on the exec of another which I am heavily involved in (actually way more than the involvement I had for the one I was pres of which was FAR too much work in itself), and I didn't participate with any other societies or have much of a social life outside the library or society socials. And at that point I was finding it ridiculously hard to keep up with my uni work.
I know tons of people who are members of up to ten societies and participate in them, but usually they aren't on the exec for any. That really bumps up the time commitment involved.
Currently I am also on two execs. However, these are the previously mentioned involving one, and the second is a very small role which only really takes up a couple of hours a week. Eeeeasy peasy. Having said that, there are so many societies I would love to be involved with but I just don't think I will realistically have the time. And tbh I absolutely love and adore the one I'm heavily involved with so it's not like I feel like I need to participate with others especially given it is my final year.
ANYWAY. That was a long ramble of an answer. Essentially there is no number you 'should' join or not. Just see what takes your fancy, try them out, and then you'll work out which ones you want to stick with. I would advise not holding more than two exec positions at a time though as you will find it way too much work (thanks to the way handover works I almost had three at once, around the time of essay hell, and would have cried). Also of course different societies are things which require different amounts of input/commitment blah blah blah so it depends a lot on what you want to do in the first place.
But definitely join as many as you feel you can be active within. Societies and sports have been the best part of my university time besides my year abroad! (Helpful hint - if you can go on Erasmus then GO!)