So when I started looking into the groups and societies we have here at Staffs, I jokingly clicked around to see if we had an Illuminati Society or New World Order Appreciation Club or something. Obviously I was only half-serious, so as I checked out ‘Special Interest and Appreciation’ and ‘Activities and Games,’ I wasn’t expecting anything to pop up. Then I checked out ‘Faith and Religion’ and, well . . .
I’m kidding. Freemasons aren’t part of the Illuminati. I don’t think. But while I was looking around, I realised that there are actually really cool options available for students looking to be more social and get the whole university experience. I mean, I saw a couple I’d be happy to join, and in my first year I only joined the Creative Writing Society. We have an Archery Society and a Cosplay Society. So I – I mean, you – can totally be the Green Arrow now. Or Katniss.
So let’s say you’ve been to the Society Fair and you have a great chat with the incredibly charismatic representative of your chosen
Illuminati sub-set society. You’ve paid your membership (or it was free, because they’re just that kind of group), and now you’re going to your to your first ever meet-up. But you’re nervous. You’re not sure why you signed up for this. Well, let this handy list steel your nerves:
You’re getting out of the house:
Not every university experience has to revolve around panicked study sessions or drinks and pool at Ember Lounge. By joining a society, you’re taking time away from your otherwise academically/socially crazy schedule and putting time into something that you love. Whether that’s swimming, Rooster Teeth, or your faith, you’re giving yourself time with your passions, around like-minded people. That’s really valuable. You’re also giving yourself time to relax and take a breath, so when you do go back to that looming assignment, you’re doing it with a fresh perspective and – hopefully – some extra motivation. You’re also getting a break from your housemates and, let’s be real, you deserve a couple of hours off.
You’re expanding your interests:
If you’re passionate or curious enough about a thing to join a club/society exploring it further, you’ll be eager to learn as much about it as you can. Everyone knows something you don’t, and as much you’ll be learning from them, they’re going to be learning from you. You might pick up some amazing techniques from a guy in your American Football club, or you might learn about some new studies in the Biology Society. You might find a new aspect of that thing that you really love, and that’ll inspire you even more. That’s pretty terrific. Enjoy it.
You’re going to make connections:
The guy you made great friends with in the Video Game Society might be writing for Kotaku before you graduate, and he’s going to have a wealth of advice for you if you ask. There are people who regularly go to conventions you’re interested in, who attend all sorts of gigs you’d like to go to, who know the perfect drummer for that band you’ve been trying to put together. Never been to a festival and want to know what to take? Someone at your next Rock and Metal Society meet-up is already a camping veteran — and they can show you exactly the best place to camp.
Oh, the places you’ll go:
How many times have you been desperate to go to a club, convention, tournament, and had no one to go with? How many times has that put you off going completely? Well, when you’re with others with the same passions as you, even in a small group there’s going to be people that want to go too. You’re going to go to Flip Out with the Trampolining Club. You’re going to learn the places in Stoke to eat with the Food Society. ‘I’ve got no-one to go with’ isn’t an excuse any more. Even if it’s you and one other person, you’re still doing something you wouldn’t have done before. And once you’ve got your confidence up, you might not even need the company next time — even if it is nice sometimes.
So there you go. Nerves steeled. Be sure and check out the list of clubs and societies on the Union website, Facebook, and get in touch with members if you’ve got any questions. You’re going to have a blast.