A guide to joining societies
Holly Phillips | Law LLB | Year 1
Joining a society when you come to university is great for many reasons:
- It is a great way to make friends/meet new people
- It allows you to have a work life balance
- It helps you to follow a passion
- If you join a sporting society, it assists you in keeping you fit
- It enhances your CV
- It allows you to network
- It makes you feel like you are a part of something
- You can make memories
- You get to represent your university
- You can make an impact!
- It’s fun!
At the University of Leeds, the Leeds University Union (LUU) offers more than 300 clubs and societies to choose from, meaning that you are guaranteed to find something that sparks your interest! The clubs and societies are categorised into different divisions, which consist of:
- General interest
- Martial arts
- Music and performance
- Political and campaigning
There are a range of very unique societies varying from the Bulgarian society to the Belly dancing society to the Real Ale society, to the On Beat Society, to the Pantomime society. There is EVERYTHING!
At the University of Leeds, we also have an Activities Team who look after the clubs and societies and can help you out with any questions. They are available most days on level one at LUU or you can email at email@example.com.
Find their contact information on the LUU website.
Starting your own society
If you can’t find a society that floats your boat or you have a passion for something quite particular, you can even create your own society! You can just get in touch with the Activities Team to enquire about starting your very own society and they will tell you all the information you need to know… it is hard work though! Nevertheless, it will be fun and will look great on your CV!
The LUU also has Society Stars which is a unique awards process to celebrate the amazing work of the clubs and societies throughout the year! You can nominate any club or society for any of the categories listed on the LUU website. New winners are usually announced every week!
The prizes consist of an interview with the Activities Officer and the club or society will be featured on the LUU’s YouTube channel! So, when you come to the university, if you think a particular club or society is doing an amazing job, nominate them for an award! It’s super easy, you just fill out a form on the LUU website!
How to join/ Taster sessions
At the beginning of the year, usually during freshers week, there will be lots of opportunities to have taster sessions or go to meetings regarding what a particular society offers. So, if you aren’t too sure about what the society will be like, you can always go to a ‘give it a go’ session or a meeting.
As my first year of university was in a pandemic, all the meetings were online and there weren’t many ‘give it a go’ sessions allowed to go ahead. Therefore, I am not sure how it will work in future years, however, you will receive loads of information from the university via email and make sure you keep checking the LUU website for more information!
Also, join all the Facebook groups! Search the name of the society you wish to join and you will be able to find most of the societies… some also have Instagram pages! You can use these social media platforms to interact with the people who run and organise these societies, so you can ask them questions and receive all the relevant information you need!
Why join a society in your first year?
I would 100% recommend joining a society in your first year of university. Out of all your years at university, whether it be three, four or five, the first year is the most relaxed and the most important in terms of finding your feet, socialising and networking. You will have a lot more time to devote to delving into your interests and making friends.
How many societies should you join?
In my first year of university, I joined quite a few societies, however, as my first year was in a pandemic, not a lot was actually happening. I joined the Cheerleading society, which was one of the more pricey societies and it required a lot of commitment, however, VERY worth it. I met some amazing girls and had so much fun in the short amount of time out of lockdown we had! I also joined Lippy Magazine as a photographer, which was perfect to do online whilst in a lockdown and it felt like such an achievement seeing the magazine at the end of the year. Sexpression was another great society I was a part of. Due to the pandemic, we wasn’t able to teach sex education in schools in my first year but the training process was super fun, despite being quite serious and intense, I got to work with an amazing group of people.
I would recommend joining at least one, maybe two. I joined one sport society, one volunteering society and one creative society to spark every one of my interests! Some were a lot more work than others, so make sure they all complement each other and balance each other out, as well as fitting into a schedule that you can follow stress free!
Most clubs and societies do come with costs, some joining fees and some hidden costs, such as sports equipment or uniforms. Some societies cost as little as £5 and some can cost as much as £70. This is all dependent on the type of society you join. All the prices for each membership to a society can be found on the LUU website. Despite the costs, every society is well worth it if it is something you are passionate about! Make sure you make the most of it and stay committed!
Any information about clubs and societies can be found on the LUU website on the link below. Don’t be afraid to ask around or email the Activities Team if you have any questions or queries!