Joining a student group is one of the best things you can do whilst you are a student. Student groups offer you the chance to meet lots of people, who share the same interests as you, some of whom will probably end up being your best friends. Apart from that, joining a student group’s managing committee/board is probably the best and easiest way to gain some work experience, whilst having fun and making friends.
But what group should you join? Uni of Leicester has over 120 student groups which you can choose from and, given this number, it is likely that more than one group will resonate with your interests. The key time of the year to make your choice is the Fresher’s Fair, which takes place at the beginning of each academic year and is a chance for each society to advertise their work and activities. As such, it can be a great opportunity for new students to familiarise themselves with various student groups, compare them, and make a decision on which ones to join.
And since Freshers’ Fair is such an important moment and the beginning of the new academic year is just around the corner, here are some tips that could help guide your search for the student group that best suits you.
Do some research!
In order to avoid turning up on the day and ending up walking around the O2 disoriented, whilst trying to escape the ferocious student representatives who will try to convince you that their group is the best, I suggest that you get on the SU website right now and have a quick look through the list of student societies. Pick the ones that you are most interested in and make sure you get to speak to their representatives when the Freshers’ Fair days come.
Stay open about your options!
Whilst choosing what student groups to “investigate” based on your interests is a good strategy, it does not mean that you should not remain open to other options. You never know – you might turn up at the Freshers’ Fair and suddenly fall in love with the Re-enactment students dressed up as Roman soldiers, walking randomly around the O2. In fact, trying new things is part of the uni experience! So what if you never heard of quidditch? Why not give it a try?! You can always join for the first events and then drop-out if you feel it is not your cup of tea.
Find out when and where are the taster sessions or the first events!
Related to the point above, you should always keep an eye out for any taster sessions that student groups might offer. Over the past few years, the SU has strongly encouraged student groups to offer students taster activities that could help them familiarise with the work and events of the group. These sessions could be a good way for you to discover new groups or, on the contrary, discover that maybe you would not enjoy that much being in that student group that you have thought about joining. But what if the student group you are considering does not offer a taster session? Then ask about their first event. Most societies have a “Meet and Greet” event open to everyone, regardless if they are members or not.
Having said all these, I hope you are all ready for the Freshers’ week and excited about the upcoming academic year!