The Student Room Group

What happens in University societies?

I keep hearing about the need to join societies but I don't even know what happens in them.

Could someone give an example of what might happen in a typical society?
It varies by society, but at a basic level they're clubs you can join to meet people that you share interests with. Some of them may be academic based, some may focus on campaigning, some may compete (e.g. sport) or perform (e.g. music/drama), and some may just be general hobby-based groups.

To give some examples of societies at my uni and the sort of events they run:
Society A (academic): Coffee socials, revision sessions, drop-in sessions to ask for help with your modules, pub nights, barbecues, guest speakers.
Society B (social/campaigning): Weekly study socials, cafe meet-ups, picnics, welfare drop-ins, walks, campaigning with the SU, giving talks.
Society C (sport): Multiple practice sessions each week, competitions, gym sessions, nights out, meals, activity days, cafe meet-ups.

You can generally go to as many or as few events as you want/have time for, and pick and choose the ones that appeal to you. Societies are just a nice way to quickly find people you have something in common with, and have a shared activity/plenty of chances to get to know them.
it's like joining a club. thus right now you may play a sport - hockey or football - so you go to practice and then may get picked for the team to play competitively. Alternatively, you may be interested in a hobby such as Anime so you join the Anime society and meet with others who like Anime. Check out the Sheffield Uni societies for example. Nothing to fear, it's not a secret society where you have to drink blood and make human sacrifices.
Original post by ax4
I keep hearing about the need to join societies but I don't even know what happens in them.

Could someone give an example of what might happen in a typical society?

Hi there @ax4 !
It typically differs from society to society. Your typical sports society will have a session of training each week which will usually take place on an evening at your university's sports facilities. If you qualified from trials and made it onto the competitive team then you're required to go to this training each week in order to play in matches. I'm unsure how frequent the matches and competitions are but these also usually take place on an evening or on a weekend. I believe some sports societies require you to pay some sort of fee to join it which covers your kit and transport to and from matches. There's also sports social night where every sports society organises a night out for their team, usually this is a Wednesday but this can differ across universities.

As far as a regular society, such as one based on a hobby, I'd imagine you'd have evening meetings during the week and it would be close to sports societies if you were joining a competitive society such as chess or something like that. Societies that don't have competitive elements to it would probably just host get-togethers during the week. You don't need to have any prior background in a society for you to join it, you just have to have an interest in it. Although, for competitive sports there will be trials to take part in to get onto the team. If the competition element isn't for you, some sports teams also run a social team which is just for the people who want to play the sport and meet people. You're not required to go every week and there's no matches to travel to against other universities. Hallam has teams such as 'Social Netball' who meet once a week and just casually play matches together. All in all, societies are the easiest and most successful way to make friends at university.

Hope this helped!
Lucy - Digital Student Ambassador SHU
A society is pretty much just a coordinated group of people with a mutual interest.

Every society runs differently, what happens is down to the members & the committee (a small group who society members choose to manage the society for everyone else).
Original post by ax4
I keep hearing about the need to join societies but I don't even know what happens in them.

Could someone give an example of what might happen in a typical society?

Hi @ax4

As comments have already mentioned, societies are a great way to make friends at university as well as picking up a new hobby or skill. I would defiantly recommend doing this as it can really enhance your university experience and be really beneficial :smile:

As mentioned, societies will normally have a weekly session which will greatly depend on what the society is about, for example, I attended the Sign Language society which consisted of a weekly meeting to lean BSL Sign Language, if you were in a sports teams then you would meet weekly to train etc. There is also the social side to societies which I think is the best part about being in a society! There will normally be a 'Social' night, for us this is Wednesday, where all the societies will go out and spend time together outside of the activity that the society is based on. This is a great way to spend more time with the people in your society and make friends with them outside of the weekly sessions based on the skill/hobby.

I hope this is helpful!

Katie - Second year Educational Psychology student
Original post by ax4
I keep hearing about the need to join societies but I don't even know what happens in them.

Could someone give an example of what might happen in a typical society?

Hi @ax4

Societies honestly vary depending on what they actually are. However, they are typically somewhere to meet people with similar interests. They could be sports, or leisure, or even academically oriented. Most societies tend to meet regularly, for example I did badminton and had 2 sessions a week and had socials on top of this - for example, going to the pub with a theme to dress up as that week, or a picnic, or a trip perhaps. They are truly a great way to make friends and to do something alongside uni than your academics. If you would like to know more information about societies, I recommend that you check out your university's student union’s website as they will have more information on what they offer. I have linked Coventry's societies here: https://www.yoursu.org/activities/societies/, and our sports here: https://www.yoursu.org/activities/sport/ if you wanted to have a look!

I hope this helps!

Warm wishes,
Sara :smile:
Original post by ax4
I keep hearing about the need to join societies but I don't even know what happens in them.

Could someone give an example of what might happen in a typical society?

Hi there :smile:

Societies are a great way to socialise and meet likeminded people. What happens in a society varies depending on the type of society you choose to attend. Societies can range from sports clubs, dance, art, language, comedy, cocktail club, volunteering etc. There are honestly so many to choose from! I will link below the list of societies at the Uni of Kent so you can get an idea of some of the ones you can join. Societies are often split into two parts (again varies on the society). Some will be completely social and other will have a combination of doing the activity and hosting socials e.g. sports clubs. Socials usually occur once a week and can often be something unrelated to the society but a way to bond with other members. This can be things like a club night, going out for dinner, making pizzas, a movie night, games night etc. You can join societies as and when you want and there is not real obligation to attend things. I am currently part of the British Red Cross society at Kent. We meet once a week to learn first aid and about the charity and then host fundraisers or have socials at other points in the month. They are super fun and a great way to meet other people. Most societies will host taster sessions at the start of the year so I would recommend attending as many of those as you like/want. You don't have to be good at the activity! Some you may not have even heard of before going to uni. Hope this helps

Societies at Kent - https://kentunion.co.uk/activities

Best wishes

Joanna
-Uni of Kent Rep
You go to freshers fair and there will be representatives from each society there they are run by student and just a way to find people with a common interest so if you take the society I was in (mountain sports).

We’d have a social night (most sports clubs do these on Wednesday) we would start off at our sponsor have a bite to eat and then go to a club (rip Kaos) which was always cool.

We’d go climbing on Monday usually and that was really cool I wasn’t very good but I was a beginner so what do you expect. We would do trips to Sardinia and somewhere up north but I can’t remember where we’d also go to various walls like Bristol or Reading so that was also fun.

If you were good you could join the team and compete at competitions and maybe win championships I didn’t do these because as I said I was a beginner.
Original post by ax4
I keep hearing about the need to join societies but I don't even know what happens in them.

Could someone give an example of what might happen in a typical society?


Hi,
A society is mostly to make friends, do some fun activities and hang out together. You can do anything in a society from fundraising, sharing ideas and interests, having regular meetings and planning out what activities the society would have. At my uni, there are so many societies and anyone can create a society as long as there is a president, treasurer and secretary, there is even a society that all they do is sleep. As long as it brings students together and makes their school life more enjoyable.

Benedicta
Digital Student Ambassador UoS

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