8 reasons to join societies

Skull prop with a plastic crow on top

Picture: Inspirational prop used in the Creative Writing Society. I believe we were trying to tie it to a murder mystery plot.
If that’s not your thing, here are a few more reasons to join one of the numerous university societies:

1. To pursue your hobby

And I mean, numerous. There are so many societies that, whatever your hobbies and interests, you are bound to find a society for you. Plus, keeping up with an activity you’re familiar with may make your transition to life in a new city/country smoother.

2. To take up a new hobby

Do your research, go to a few taster sessions, and try something new. Taster sessions are usually at the beginning of each semester, but some societies will let you attend your first meeting for free at any time of the year.

3. To make friends

Or at the very least meet new, interesting people, spend some time with them and have fun. In my opinion, this is one of the easiest ways to get to know other students beyond your programme. Plus, a society gives you something in common to break the ice.

4. To keep things balanced

No matter how invested you are in your studies, introducing variety into your life is important for your wellbeing. Especially if you’re a master’s student like me, it feels good to have an activity where you can destress and have fun, without the obligation of attending if you’re too busy.

5. To save money

A lot of societies are really cheap and any social events they organise are also often free for members. I’ve noticed performing societies are more expensive, but these normally come with lessons, like dancing, so it’s still worth the money.

Let’s get to more specific reasons…

6. To feel at home

This one’s for you, EU and international students. Many societies are formed by people from a specific country and are dedicated to celebrating their culture. If you feel homesick, find the society for your home country. You’ll get the chance to meet students from the same place and also take part in events reminiscent of whatever special occasions and celebrations you have back home.

7. To develop academically

Other societies are dedicated to different academic fields, like linguistics, psychology, and so on. These have both social and academically focused events, like talks and paper discussions, which can enrich your studies and generally motivate you to consider your career options.

8. To keep fit

There are a few different categories you can look at if this is what you’re interested in, such as dancing, or outdoor activities. They’re generally a more affordable option than the gym if you want to stay in shape.

You name it.

Volunteering, appreciation, transferable skills… like I said, there’s a surprising number of societies and clubs to choose from. The specific categories mentioned above are only the ones I’m a member of or got a taste of during Welcome Week. For more details, you can check out the Find a Society website:

Find a Society | Edinburgh University Students’ Association