What are Clubs and societies?
If you can think of it, at some point in time, there's probably been a club or society at a university about it.
Clubs and societies are normally looked after by your students' union (if you want to find out more about students' unions we've got an A-Z here). Sometimes sports teams are looked after by the university, but it differs wherever you go. So make sure you check both your university and the students' union website when you're looking!
Essentially, a club or society is an opportunity to meet like-minded people or to try new activities. There are hundreds of different types of clubs and societies. They range from political, cultural, artistic, sport, media, faith... the list goes on.
Clubs and societies often have a committee of members who look after all the business aspects too. You can have a chair or someone who is essentially in charge, treasurer, social secretary and loads more. So another benefit of joining is that you'll be getting some work experience as well.
But no matter what your passion or interest, we're sure there will be something for you to get involved in. And if there isn't, we'll tell you how to start it!
do you what you love doing
Everyone has a passion for something. If you're not quite sure what your passion is yet, you'll probably discover it while you're at university. But one thing you're bound to find is a few other people who love the same thing you do.
Many people share the love and start-up a club or society at university. If there's one thing you should do at uni, it's get stuck in with everything. The best way to do that is to join a club or society! You'll make tons of friends and your social life will be nice and full.
Clubs and societies can cover so many different things - make sure you check out all the ones available and we can't recommend enough that you join one! So whether it's drama or films, politics or trampolining, football or frisbee there's going to be something for you.
And if all those things interest you, remember you can always do more than one!
The weird and wonderful world of clubs and societies
We've scoured the internet, looked at A LOT of university websites and brought you the five weirdest and most wonderful clubs and societies from the UK (although a few of them are no longer running):
1. The Sheila and her dog society - University of Cambridge
This society is basically where you regress back to being six years old. Wear a dressing gown, bring your favourite cuddly toy and eat sweets and chocolates while reading children's stories...
2. Extreme ironing - University of Nottingham
It's not the amount of ironing, it's where. Members will climb to the tops of mountains for a spot of ironing! The more extreme the better.
3. Custard wrestling society - Cardiff University
This society is one that's disbanded. But basically, members would fill a paddling pool full of custard and wrestle!
4. Nicholas Cage Appreciation Society - Lincoln University
Who doesn't love a bit of Nic Cage? Over at Lincoln University, they have a whole society dedicated to the famous actor. Also, Sussex University has a Louis Theroux society, so if you appreciate the work of someone, you can set up a whole society dedicated to them.
5. The 20 Minute Society - Newcastle University
Now, this is one we like the sound of! The aim of the society is to get to a location within 20 minutes. Members receive a text message alerting them to an event, and if you can be there in 20 minutes, you'll have an amazing time AND you'll be entered into the chance to win a surprise mystery holiday! (hopefully more than 20 minutes away...)
So as you can see, there's bound to be something to suit you!
Become a Sports superstar
If you love sport, there will almost definitely be a sports team for you to join. Or if there's a sport you've always wanted to try, like snowboarding or fencing or horse riding, you can always have a test run before committing.
Sports clubs here at Solent tend to be more competitive, either competing in the BUCS (British University and College Sport) leagues or local/national leagues. And who doesn't love a bit of competition? The great thing about playing competitively is you'll get to travel all over the UK to compete against other universities. Some sports teams even get to compete abroad. So, if you've got some good skills to bring, you could be part of a championship team!
While we're on the subject of Solent sports teams, we need to have a bit of a humble brag... Last year we scooped the most improved university award in the BUCS National Awards after we climbed a whopping 13 places! And here are some of our winning teams from the BUCS league:
- Gold in athletics (3,000m indoor),
- Gold in boxing (novice category),
- Men's football won the BUCS Western 6A League,
- Solent Netball won BUCS Western 5A League,
- Solent Sailing are the BUCS Yachting Champions.
So, there are loads of perks and benefits of joining a club. You'll be making new friends, winning a league and be super healthy as you'll be exercising regularly (you'll normally play on a Wednesday afternoon).
There is a tiny bit more… Sports teams have regular socials (usually on a Wednesday night after playing); most universities host their own end of year sports awards; and, best of all, you get the chance to go on tour! Tour is basically a holiday for your sports team. You'll either go away as just a team or join others at a big sporting event!
Let's Start something beautiful
If you've checked out the clubs and societies at your university and your favourite thing isn't there, don't worry. They're SUPER easy to start.
The thought of starting a society may seem daunting but it’s easily done. All you have to do is get a group of four like-minded people together and fill in a new society application form. The students' union or university will then review it to make sure it fits their values and that there’s nothing too similar already available. The chances are, if you’re interested in starting a society, there will be people that will want to join!
Solent University was ranked 8th best for graduate start-ups, so naturally, we have loads of enterprising students. Like Lulu McNally who studies on our BA (Hons) Marketing with Advertising degree.
Lulu started a society for entrepreneurs with the aim of bringing people together to share ideas and develop business ideas. SPARKS meet weekly with guest speakers or workshops followed by a night out. And they've been running since 2014! So if there isn't society already there for you, do what Lulu did and start one yourself!
It’s never too late to join
Sports teams sometimes have a cut-off point due to the way the membership works, but other than that it’s never too late to join a society. More importantly, you aren’t restricted to one. If you love a particular sport and also enjoy a bit or knitting, by all means, join the sports team and get knitting with others!
Tasks for this week
- Start researching the clubs and societies you may want to join! Remember to check out both the university and students' union websites.
- If your club or society isn't there, maybe think about making one
- Check out when the clubs and societies fair is during your fresher's week. It'll be a chance to check out all of them.