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The Fresher’s Guide to Joining Student Societies

Roar writer Abdus Shaik gives advice to freshers about how they should choose which societies they join. 

With the KCLSU’s Freshers Fair (or Welcome Fair) coming up on 22 and 23 September, a lot of incoming Freshers might be sifting through the long list of societies that KCLSU has to offer. From Roar (the best society, of course) to “KCL Disney+ Society”, campaigns like “Students For Justice For Palestine” to academic societies like “KCL Space” and the “Biochemistry Society”, KCLSU has so much to offer!

So, where should students start? And how do they pick the right ones? How can they avoid picking too many so they don’t spend too much time on leisure while they have an unwritten essay due four weeks ago? How can they make sure that they make the most of the university experience and what KCLSU has to offer?

As someone who overdid socialising in second year while staying away from university societies in first year, I want to find the perfect balance in my final year. So, here’s a guide to the types of societies that I think should help you improve your CV, make the most of what the university offers, and have fun without sabotaging your results.

Cultural Societies

KCL is a diverse university with students belonging to more than one hundred nationalities, and KCLSU has kept up, with dozens of cultural societies that are friendly and welcoming. Joining a cultural society would expand your horizons, allow you to meet new people, and connect with a culture. It might even help you learn a new language. So, try choosing one cultural society to join and commit to. Of course, committing to one society doesn’t stop you from attending events at other cultural societies.

Academic Societies

Joining an academic society related to your degree is important. If you’re studying Chemistry, you should join the “Chemistry Society” to socialise with your peers and, if you’re lucky, your lecturers. Such societies allow you to grow in your academic career while having some fun. If you would like to join academic societies that are not related to what you’re studying, that’s absolutely fine too.

Either Journalism, Media or Drama Society…

Improving your writing skills, interacting with people, seeking the truth, or just entertaining people, they’re all incredibly important jobs. You never know, you might be the next John Keats, or even a future BBC presenter!

Or… a Sports Society! 

Staying fit is incredibly important. So, if writing and drama aren’t your forte, do not fear! For we won Varsity last year! (Hey that rhymes!) And we hope to win next year too. So pick a sport, show us how good you are at it, and then we can teach UCL a good lesson!

Campaigning or Political Societies

Do you want to demand justice? Do you want to bring change and stand up for something you believe in? Do you want to help liberate Palestine, demand a tuition fee refund, or educate people about Breast Cancer? Or do you want to discuss possible solutions to current situations? Well, you’re at the right university! There are a dozen campaign societies that KCLSU offer, ready to recruit activists like you! (Rhymes again!)

Spiritual Societies

Are you a religious person? Do you want to discuss the universe, nature, life, purpose and God? Fear not! As we have societies like the Islamic Society, and they have to offer, a lot. (Rhymes again!)

Miscellaneous 

There is a lot more that KCLSU has to offer, so much that going through it all would take a lifetime, or twenty PhDs. But as I mentioned before, “KCL Disney+ Society” or “Entrepreneur’s Society”…KCLSU has so much to offer. Are you going to pick a society already?

So now, do you join seven societies? No. Do not make that mistake. I’d suggest you pick four from this list, depending on what your ambitions are, and what your work schedule looks like, factoring in the number of contact hours, hours you study, and hours you work. You can always attend other societies’ events anyway.

When it comes to joining a committee, I highly recommend that you join two during the first few years of your degree and then bring it down to one in your final year. Joining committees can be quite draining, and it requires commitment. Be sure to join a committee if you are convinced that they have something to offer you.

Joining a committee can improve your interpersonal skills and it can also build your network. Events managing and media roles are seen as very desirable by future employers, so joining a society’s committee will give you an advantage in the future.

Don’t stress out about that right now though, you still have a third year you can spend stressing out. For now, as freshers, you should meet new people, learn as much as you can, and, most importantly, have fun!

Physics Student at King's College London | 07948080968 | [email protected]

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