So Many Societies, But so Little Time
The tendency for many freshers, especially during freshers week is to sign up and join as many clubs and societies as possible (especially if the booths have a great haul of freebies and free food). The big question is, which societies should you really invest your time in for the coming years at uni? One thing I have realised is that over the years, the main societies that I have really invested my time in, have been the ones where I have made the most friends and are aligned with my passions and interests. For international students, maintaining membership in cultural societies is a good way to keep a good network of friends who you may also be able to keep in contact with even after university in the case you do move back home. Additionally, it’s a great way to beat any signs of homesickness, as many of the members in these cultural societies may be experiencing the same pangs of homesickness as well. Some socials sometimes also involve home cooked traditional food, which can be very comforting especially when academic work gets too stressful and some hot homey comfort food is much needed. Academic societies or societies associated with your degree are also ones you should consider still being active in over the next few years, as these will add significant value to you CV. Many companies are interested in hearing about leadership skills and involvement in project planning, which you as an individual have directly taken part in, so this is important to consider.
Besides being an active member of societies, you may also consider applying for executive positions within these societies. One tip though, is to make that the roles which you run for, are roles which you can fully commit yourself to and where you won’t burn out managing. I personally made the mistake of being too eager and applying for multiple executive positions, in which I was elected for and subsequently spent my second year in a ball of endless meetings and stress. Being an executive is a big role and holds many responsibilities. This is especially due to the fact that any events are student lead, in which budgets, locations and overall logistical factors are in the hands of the executive committee. Balancing too many may just have repercussions, as you may not be able to provide high quality contributions too, compared to managing one executive position well- think quality over quantity in this situation.
There are a handful of societies that I recommend considering, or looking into if you are still not satisfied with your current choices or are on the fence about which to continue being a member in. AIESEC, for example is an internationally recognised youth leadership organisation which enables students to go on various exchange programs; either volunteer or internships. With AIESEC being having collaborated with the United Nations especially regarding the various SDGs, this shows how well renowned this organisation is. Overall, it is a prestigious society to be a part of as it enables individuals to not only develop crucial leadership skills as character building but also provides unique opportunities to experience different cultures and make a difference in society. Some others which are quite big and well known across campus include Warwick Congress, ASEAN, Warwick Economic Summit, or Warwick Kickstart.
Societies in general help enrich your entire university experience and also gives you the opportunity to meet some great lifelong friends who share the same values and interests. Just make sure that you are able to balance your time between your degree and the extracurriculars you are involved in so that they don’t have a negative impact on one another. Always prioritise which ones you feel that have a positive influence on your time at university, where you can benefit from but also contribute too, but most of all try new things and enjoy all the experiences you get out from these societies!