LSE Student’s Union (LSESU) has over 200 societies which can make choosing a society to join a little more complicated. Here’s a handy guide of things to consider when joining societies.
1. How involved do you want to be?
Many societies offer sub-committee positions for first year students and post-graduate students to get involved. Being on a sub-committee can be a very rewarding experience. If you wish to be on a sub-committee, it may be best to commit to one society to be very involved in. If not, it may take up quite a lot of your time. This is not to say you shouldn’t join other societies, however, you may need to reduce your active involvement with them.
2. What are your interests?
Are you someone who is very career focused? Do you want to learn a new hobby? Do you want to develop certain skills? Or do you just want to learn about different things?
Based on what you are interested in, you can filter out or shortlist certain societies. For example, if you want to learn a new hobby, Beekeeping and Mahjong are great societies to get involved with even if you have no experience with them. If you are career-oriented, the Consultancy Society, among others, are great to join. If you want to develop skills, societies like the Negotiation Society and Spanish Society are great to join.
Most societies are relatively cheap to join and won’t break the bank. However, sports clubs can be more expensive which is something to take into account. Joining a sports team is extremely fulfilling and the experience will likely be worth the cost. Most sports teams offer a leisure membership and a competitive one as well giving you a choice on how much you want to spend.
4. What type of events do the societies hold?
Most societies advertise their events on Facebook. This is a great place to have a look and see the types of events they hold and if you want to attend them. Most events are members-only events. Therefore, if their events interest you, it’s a good idea to buy a membership.
It’s also a good idea to check how active a society is. This can vary year on year and some societies tend to be naturally more active than others.
5. How often do they meet/social activities?
Joining a society is generally a very social experience and many have socials for members to enjoy themselves. However, this is likely to change with social distancing measures in place. Sports clubs are more likely to meet regularly while most societies tend to have a few socials a term for members. Committee members will likely meet more regularly.