The benefits of being part of a society at uni
Hi, I’m Caitlin and I’ve spent the past two years of my university experience, taking part in a range of university societies. In this blog I’ll be sharing with you my experiences and the benefits of getting involved in societies at uni.
What is a society?
A society is basically a group run by and for students around a specific interest. Societies are led by a student committee which is voted in by members each year and they run events such as general society meet ups, social outings and fundraisers. There are so many different societies at Leeds Beckett from sports, to course specific and cover a range of different interests. You can check them out here.
Societies I am part of
This year I have had the pleasure of being Treasurer of Education Society and of Beat Society and working with two groups of amazing committee members to plan and organise fundraisers, training, an online concert, and many other online events.
Education Society has just finished its first full year as a society. They offer a range of events mainly catering to the School of Education or those who would like to go into a career in education. However, this year we’ve encouraged anyone to join us, in hopes of fighting potential loneliness or isolation during the pandemic. Beat Society was started this year and has been working alongside Beat charity to reduce the stigma and increase awareness surrounding eating disorders along with promoting a safe space if anyone needed it.
Find friends with a common interest
As an Education student, I thought it was very important for me to join the Education Society and meet people doing education-based courses outside of my own. I have since made friends from a range of courses such as the non-accelerated Primary Education students and those from the Early Years part of the School of Education. Having joined that society this year, I was then invited to join the Beat Society who were just starting to set up for their first year. I am a huge advocate for body positivity and loving yourself and so I felt it was a great place to be to assist with that and meet others who are also advocates for this. I had also seen the amazing work done by Beat Society at other universities and really wanted to bring that, and more, to Beckett.
It’s been really interesting hearing about the experiences of people in different courses and getting to chat about education as a common interest but from different points of view.
Explore the city with new friends
Along with this, I think that being part of societies is a great way to get out and learn more about the city you’re in. You can meet up with members of the society and try new places or activities that you may not have done otherwise. Especially as a first year, this can be a great way of learning about the area and where you like to go within it.
Being part of societies has meant that I’ve made many great friends and got to talk to a range of people that I wouldn’t have talked to otherwise.
Take part in events and new opportunities
Societies provide so many new opportunities for you to get involved with. I’ve been able to be a part of fundraisers such as organising and enjoying the Live for Lebanon event (a charity online concert to raise money for the Beirut appeal) with Education Society and working to improve my own, and other’s, mental health through a sponsored walk named March for March with Beat Society.
Positive addition to my CV
I should also add that taking part in societies and especially being a part of a committee can be an amazing thing to have on a CV or bring up in interviews and can set you apart from other candidates. Whilst it shouldn’t be the only reason for joining a society or committee, it’s definitely a good bonus.
Interested? Here's how societies work
You can sign up once you start uni by chatting to the society members at welcome events or contacting them via their social media accounts or email addresses. You can find this information on the LBU Students' Union website.
As a member of a society, you will be offered a range of events and social activities to take part in throughout the year. The schedule will change between societies and no one is required to turn up to something they don’t want to, which gives you the flexibility to take part in whatever you feel comfortable with or whatever fits your schedule. Education Society this year ran an event every month and Beat Society ran a few per semester and both did a fundraiser during the year too.
During non-pandemic times, members are also invited along to society meetings where the committee will talk about any plans for the coming weeks/months and ask for suggestions or feedback from members.
If you decide to become a committee member there will also be a few meetings in the year where only the committee meet up to discuss plans, before bringing them to members or to finalise event organisation. Committees also set up group chats to assist with this so that everything doesn’t need to be scheduled in as meetings.
Societies may also team up and run events together, in fact this is encouraged by the SU through their Society Reward Scheme. This normally only happens a few times a year but encourages further interaction with people outside of your normal interests.
It has been an amazing experience to be a part of societies at Leeds Beckett, both as a member and part of the committee and I would highly recommend all students to get involved. It’s a truly rewarding and fulfilling experience!