Are you worried about what university life will be like? Let me try to alleviate some of those worries. It definitely isn’t all lectures, classes and studying. Don’t get me wrong – these things are important. Still, it is possible to have a good work-life balance, and LSE Students’ Union (LSESU) is here to help you achieve this with an abundance of societies to join.
There are more than 200 societies at LSESU. Together, they make up a vast and colourful collection of groups focusing on a range of interests from academia to arts, careers, politics, charity and so much more. You could join the Hedge Fund Society to explore alternative investments, swing by to dance with the Salsa Society, and go for a hike or a star gazing escapade with the Outdoor Adventure Society! Societies are key in the social fabric and foundation of student life at the LSE, as they enable you to delve into different interests with people you may not usually encounter.
With so many societies to choose from, deciding which ones to join may be intimidating at first. However, most societies will run a ‘Give It A Go’ session, which is a fantastic way to try out the activities regularly organised by a club or society, with no strings attached. It’s true – you can experience all that a sports club and/or society has to offer, without having to pay the membership fee! These taster sessions run throughout the year, so don’t feel as if you can only join societies at the beginning of your academic term.
Apart from Give It A Go sessions, another great opportunity to find out more about societies is Freshers’ Fair during Welcome Week. The majority of societies and sports clubs will have set up stalls to talk to new students, and those manning the stalls will be happy to answer any questions you may have. You should also take the Fair as a chance to let other students persuade you to join something that may have never crossed your mind. After all, university is the time to try new and exciting things!
If something you’d like to do is not on offer at the LSESU, you are welcome to set up your own. The LSESU is open and supportive of students who have fresh ideas, and provide a comprehensive set of instructions about how to start a new society on their website. My friends and I created the Craft Society last year, and it is one of the most enjoyable memories I have of my time here. It is a commitment, but also an amazing learning experience.
Already at Freshers’ Fair you learn how to quickly get over and let go of rejection, while developing your persuasion skills. Throughout the academic year, you could be in charge of managing and organising events for the society, reaching out to members and handling finances in a team with other committee members. These experiences are invaluable, and go a long way in developing you as an individual personally, as well as boosting your employability after graduation.
Still, you don’t have to set up your own society to cultivate these skills. All societies have committees made up of students who run the group. Typically, committee members include the President, Secretary and Treasurer, but societies are able to establish more roles if need be. By being part of a society committee, you will be on the frontlines of running the group, gaining relevant know-how and experience.
What your university life shapes up to be is ultimately up to you. I know that it’s easier said than done when I say do not be afraid to dive into new things, but LSESU societies are safe spaces to let loose and have fun. University life can be busy and chaotic, but it is always important to parcel out some time to relax and do something that is enjoyable both mentally and physically. I am sure that, whoever you are, there will be a society waiting for you here at the LSE.
Learn more about our BSc Management programme