If you’re looking for a way to get the most out of your student experience, look no further than student groups and societies. Getting started is as simple as working your way through our tips below. If you need further information, don’t hesitate to contact your institution’s student services team or student union — they’ll be more than happy to help you find a club or society that’s right for you.
Look for groups that match your interests
There are student groups dedicated to just about every interest and purpose. From general hobby groups and sports teams to charitable, spiritual, political and cultural groups, there’s likely to be something that calls out to you. Within these groups, you’ll usually find a mixture of ‘appreciation’ groups as well as clubs where you can practise or gain skills in an area of interest. There are also many clubs that target specific students (those studying engineering or mature age students, for instance), as well as clubs that don’t have much of an agenda at all, focusing instead on general social events or getting new students settled on campus. Remember, even the most niche areas are likely to have a club (think Quidditch, beer brewing, juggling, pirates and Star Trek, just to name a few obscure ones). If not, see below for information about starting your own club or society.
Seek out course-related opportunities
Many students take the opportunity to get involved in co-curricular opportunities that tie in with their course content. This could include contributing articles to the student newspaper as a journalism student or joining a conversation or cultural club if you’re studying a language. The great thing about getting involved in groups related to your studies is that you’ll not only expand your social circle — you might improve your academic performance too. You may even find clubs that align with your career plan (a young entrepreneurs’ group, for instance), which will look great on your résumé when you start applying for jobs.
Get involved in your institution’s political system
If you’re a keen activist or feel passionately about making changes on your campus, it’s worth looking into your institution’s political system. Your campus might have societies dedicated to the country’s major political parties or certain causes, such as marriage equality or refugees’ rights. You might also consider running in the student election, vying for roles such as student union president. Getting involved in the campus political system is not only a great idea for students studying politics and humanities, but also those in fields such as event management, public relations, communications, business and environmental studies.
Start your own club
If you’ve researched the clubs and societies available on campus and can’t find anything that suits your needs or have a brilliant idea for a new club, why not start your own? The process is generally quite simple — you usually just need to submit an application to your institution (by a set date) and ensure you have filled out all documentation. You may need to rally up a certain number of members before registration can proceed. Procedures vary between institutions, but in all cases there will be some restrictions in place to ensure clubs do not incite hate or discrimination. If you’re not up for the task of managing a club, you might also consider organising a one-off event, such as a faculty ball or fundraiser barbeque.