Societies are a great way to get stuck into university life, and they are often the place where you find friends who will stick with you throughout your university life and beyond. Society fairs can be very overwhelming, and it is easy to get frazzled in the din of loud voices shouting over one another, or get distracted by which society has the best free stuff. Whether you are a fresher looking to get involved, or a returning student thinking about branching out from your regular routine, here are four societies you might not have heard of, but should definitely try!
1 – Quidditch
Manchester Universities Quidditch Club has really grown in popularity over the past year, so much so that they can field two teams. This makes it the perfect society for those looking to try a new sport, whether that be to play competitively or just for some fun and exercise. Once you’ve got past the strange feeling of running with a broom, you’ll find that Quidditch is actually an extremely fun sport, combining elements of rugby and dodgeball to make a game filled with interesting gameplay. Something else that makes Quidditch unique is its mandatory mixed gender teams. The sport prides itself on inclusivity of all, and the team at Manchester certainly reflect that attitude. You will receive a warm welcome at the “Give it a Go” sessions, and there is no try-out necessary to play for the second team, making it the perfect sport for those wishing to try something new. Training is on Wednesdays and Saturdays, with a mixture of gameplay and fitness training.
2 – Swing Dance
Manchester Swing Dance Society is a great one if you are looking for really fun way of meeting new people. Swing is a partner dance (with non gender-specific roles), which makes it great for meeting new people as a fresher or a returning student. It’s very social as you change partners many times throughout the evening, and as it’s an improvisational style dance it’s easy to get the hang of, with most newcomers finding they can dance to an entire song by the end of a session. They offer weekly classes on Fridays at the SU Dance Studio from the 28th of September, the first of which is free. They also have bi-weekly socials DJ-ed by dancers from swing groups, some of whom are professionals who are happy to dance with beginners. Society trips offer the chance to dance in the Royal Albert Hall, and in cities like New York and Munich. A great one to get involved with!
3 – Get Crafty for Charity
This society is all about relaxing and having fun, while doing something for a good cause. Their meetings revolve around crafting as a way to relax, and the onus is on making the sessions enjoyable and therapeutic. They welcome complete beginners as well as those already skilled in crafts, but their activities vary each session, so it’s granted you’ll try something new, regardless of your level. All the materials necessary are provided, so you can just turn up and enjoy the chat and opportunity to take a break from regular work. They ask for small donations and sometimes charge entry fees to cover costs for materials and, at the end of the year, sell the things members have made through the the year to raise money for the Newlife Foundation. Their sessions are bi-weekly at the SU.
4 – Pantomime
University of Manchester Pantomime Society always bring in great crowds for their Christmas and end of year shows, and claims to have some of the best socials on campus. It’s a very inclusive society, and welcomes all, especially those who have never performed before or are nervous about performing. You do have to audition, however everyone that auditions is guaranteed a part. Members say that their confidence has improved massively since joining, and shows are a lot of fun, with all proceeds going to a charity chosen by society members. Socials include karaoke and nights out in Manchester, as well as more chilled evenings around the student area. It’s a really popular society for those looking for a good laugh and a new hobby, and a great one to start with!
No matter what society you decide to join, the most important thing is that you do something. University societies are a brilliant opportunity to gain a new skill, pick up a new hobby and just have a general laugh. When attending freshers events just remember that everyone is in the same boat, so just go along, give things a go and enjoy yourself, you never know what might come of it!