As a proud member of the Taekwondo Society when she was at university *cough* years ago, she’s still reaping the benefits today.
1) It makes your CV stand out
This is something that I didn’t fully appreciate until I was sat in a job interview myself. I was 23 and going for my first management job. They asked if I had any experience managing people before. I hadn’t. Or so I thought- the entire interview changed direction when I said “well not really, but I did manage this Guinness Book of World Records Attempt for my Taekwondo team at University – so was managing around 80 people for that”. Turns out that counts as valid management experience (who knew?). I got the job. (I didn’t get the World Record title though).
2) Different Circle of friends
You can never have to many friends, right? Sometimes when you’re put into halls in your first year you just don’t gel with your assigned flat mates. There might not be anything wrong with them, but you just don’t see yourselves becoming lifelong friends. Same with the people on your course. Joining a society or sports club gives you the opportunity to meet people you otherwise might not have met, and people who are more likely to share your passion or interest. Societies, especially those related to academic subjects or industries, can also prove valuable places for professional networking. It’s never to early to start that!
3) Learn a new skill
And not just to fill out your CV. University is possibly the only time in your life where you’ll have the opportunity to try so many different activities and sports. Trust me, once you start working full-time you’ll never ever get round to playing that sport you’ve always wanted to try or joining a Bee Keeping group. You’re also never going to find a Cocktail society where you can pay £5 for an annual membership (yes that’s a real society and you can find it at the University of Liverpool!).
4) It’s good for your Mental Health
University can be a hugely stressful time and everyone needs an outlet. For some people going down the pub with friends is enough to help them get through it, but other people may find more relief in playing sport or doing some form of Arts + Crafts. Joining a society can help you maintain a good study / life balance and provide a bit of a break from the stress of essay deadlines and revision.
5) It’s just plain fun
When you look back on your time at university, I guarantee you won’t remember 99% of the lectures you attended or the books you read. Your fondest memories will be of trying something new, having a laugh with good friends and spending your time doing something you enjoy. If you don’t join a society for the reasons above, why not just do it for the giggles?