When I first got to LSE, I was slightly overwhelmed with the number of societies on offer and trying to figure out which one to join. If you’re going to be at LSE, student societies are likely to be essential to your student experience and definitely worth thinking about. I’d like to share my experience of LSE societies to give an idea of what you can do outside your degree.
Any subject you can study at LSE is likely to have a dedicated society. Some are larger and very active; some might not have been established yet. These societies will usually have hold subject-related academic events but also career-related events and socials. Even if you understandably want a break from your studies, it is worth joining your subject’s society as a member. It will allow you to see the subject from a different angle, or to simply engage with fellow students outside the classroom.
If you are looking to gain experience related to your subject, you can even consider joining as a committee member as it is likely that you will be able to network with professionals from the field and show your dedication to the subject to future employers.
At a Christmas-themed social organised by the Law Society and Law Department, Source: LSE LLB Facebook page
With a massive international student body, most nations will be represented at LSE by a student society. Joining as a member is a great opportunity to find a home away from home, as socials allow you to meet with people from your nationality. Especially in the first few weeks, it can be comforting to share your experience of being abroad with someone from a similar background.
Using the German Society as an example, these societies can also be a fantastic opportunity to boost your skillset as a committee member. Some of the larger societies organise speaker events, such as the annual German Symposium. Taking responsibility for a large-scale public event played a key part in developing my personal and professional skills.
One of the panel events of the German Symposium 2020
If you’re looking for an incredibly social experience, join a sports club. Many sports are available at LSE, allowing you to continue a sport you’ve done before or try out something completely new, as all of them are beginner-friendly. Aside from the physical aspect, sports clubs host socials every Wednesday night, followed by an iconic night out at Zoo Bar in Leicester Square.
Something to bear in mind is the higher cost of joining and the often-greater time commitment. However, from peers I have spoken to throughout my time at LSE, both are fully worth it for the experience.
Any other interests
I am aware that I am grouping together a vast number of societies in this final category. Visiting the Students’ Union website will give you a much better overview of what else is available apart from the societies and clubs mentioned above. This is simply to emphasise that there is probably a group to join for anyone. Ranging from career-focused interests to politics, media, creative network, or really any other interest – finding like-minded people will be easy.
Whether you are interested in a specific career or simply want to meet new people, I recommend trying it out in the first few weeks. It is worth spending a bit more time on ‘Give it a Go’ sessions before deciding on where you regularly want to dedicate time.
The bottom line:
There is a lot of choice at LSE, and it will always be somewhat overwhelming to know what to do. This is not a bad thing, though: there are so many fantastic things to get involved in that it does essentially not matter what you do. Remember, there does not have to be an ulterior career-driven motive behind every decision. Try things out, speak to the committee and find something that you can be passionate about alongside your degree. My final piece of advice is simple: join at least one society at LSE – you will not regret it!
Thumbnail image from LSE LLB Facebook page here