Welcome to Manchester – Societies
It’s Fresher’s week, which means two things: a sea of new faces, and the Fresher’s Fair. For two glorious days we traipse through the Student’s Union being enriched by what the university and union has to offer. From the moment you walk through the door you’re pounced upon by hungry students desperate for you to join their society. You’re ushered from stall to stall collecting bags of freebies and haphazardly giving away your contact details. Then you are spat out the other side, wide eyed, shell shocked and trembling ever so slightly. Apparently it’s going to be a bit more organised this year with a one –way system, but we’ll have to wait and see this works in reality. It may feel like you gain nothing from the chaos of Fresher’s Fair, and common practise dictates you join 20 societies, never go to one and spend the duration of your time at Manchester being bombarded by weekly emails. But attending the Fresher’s fair will be one of the most important things you do at Manchester.
Get stuck in!
Why is the Fresher’s Fair so important? Why join a society? And why have a whole page of the student newspaper dedicated to them? Because joining a society can – and this is not an understatement – change your life. Societies are designed for students, run by students and attended by students. So why not join the circus skills club? Why not join the debating group? It’s the one time you can get involved in anything you want and activities are dirt cheap compared to how much they would cost outside of university.
As motherly as it sounds, the more you put into university the more you’ll get out of it. The Fresher’s Fair is the one time that all the clubs are under the same roof. It’s a great opportunity to meet the organisers face to face, and however daunting this may seem they’ll be eager to meet you and answer any of your questions.
There really are no limits to the things you can get involved in, whether it’s the hiking, mahjong or aikido society. You might be surprised by what actually appeals to you. So my plea is to make the most of the Fresher’s Fair, join as many societies as you can, then turn up to the socials and see how it goes.
Getting involved could not only improve you time at Manchester, but it’s also great for getting ahead in the outside world. Leaving university seems a long way off now, but it’s an inevitable, gut-wrenching reality we all have to face. If you’re interested in a career in radio for example, then go chat to Fuse FM. Equally, if its events management that turns you on then being part of a society earns serious brownie points. events
Apart from looking great on your CV, societies are renowned for the amazing socials that are organised. Social Secs will be on red alert during Fresher’s week to conjure up some memorable nights all over Manchester to entertain the new recruits. There is no denying that the first week can be daunting, and socials are a great way to meet new people. So if you’ve been paired with the neighbour from hell then fear not, your social life is not doomed.
It’s never too late to join a society.
There is a misconception that if you don’t go to Fresher’s Fair you’ll never have the opportunity to join a society. This is totally wrong. You can join a society whenever you want; it doesn’t have to be just in fresher’s week and doesn’t even have to be in your first year. Check out the union website http://manchesterstudentunion.com/groups and there is a full list of all the societies this year and their contact details. So if you do arrive late and miss the Fresher’s Fair, just drop them an email and you can easily get involved. New members are always welcome, however late.
I hope I’ve swayed you in the direction of the student’s union, and that you’ll make the most of your time at Manchester. So … GET STUCK IN.