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University societies: how to get involved at the University of Birmingham

Whether you're a fresher or final year student, we could all use some tips on joining societies at university.

Being part of a university society has so many benefits: making new friends, keeping hobbies alive, harnessing new skills, you've read it all before on the university website as well as the old 'joining a society could transform your university experience'. Okay, that's all great, but how do you actually get involved? Freshers' Week is, as we all know, incredibly hectic. Crammed with nights out, campus fairs, induction lectures and meetups with new or old friends, the idea of going to a society taster session can sometimes go to the back of your mind amidst the chaos of it all. Since societies are such a great way to get involved in university life, it's worth the effort to enjoy the benefits afterwards, so, here are some top tips for joining societies this year.

Keep your options open

When it comes to choosing societies, don't be afraid to dip your toes in different waters, especially when you never know what might surprise you. With such a breadth of choices, from poker to politics, it's true when they say there's a society for everyone, you name it, the guild has most likely got it. Throughout the first few weeks, don't close off any options, try all the taster sessions, so if you don't love the first one, try another!

Get digital

Societies' socials are always buzzing around the beginning of the year, as each society has its own social sec dedicated to advertising and recruiting members online. Facebook is the best place when it comes to discovering key dates and events being hosted by societies, whilst Instagram offers more insight into what their social events look like and the different types of activities involved. Don't be afraid to message their admin online asking any questions you might have, it's a nice way to let them know you're interested and it's likely they'll recognise you at the taster sessions.

Societies Fair

During the morning after the night before, the last thing you want to do is be dragged out by your flatmate to the Societies Fair. Before you even step into the marquee, you're bombarded with fliers, loud music and smiley faces left, right and centre. Societies Fair is always a bustling blur of an event, but it's worth the headache it leaves you with afterwards. Attending means you can see all the societies in a short space of time, pick up some handy leaflets with key dates on, ask people questions and basically absorb loads of information that would take several hours to gather otherwise. Be sure to put your name down to register for emails from different societies and speak to the people at the stalls, they're there to recruit new members!

Make the most of taster sessions

Once you've discovered all the relevant dates for upcoming events, it would be a real waste to not make the most of the different taster sessions societies offer. The beginning of the year is the time when societies are trying to recruit new members, so taster sessions are a great way to get a feel of the society before committing to any payments or memberships. Often, the taster sessions will be free and are a great way to meet the people involved, plus, societies such as VegSoc take the 'taster' part pretty seriously. Yum.

To have a browse of the list of societies at UoB click here.