Joining LSE to pursue a degree has been an amazing and mind-opening experience, with all that the university has to offer from an academic and intellectual perspective. However, my experience would not have been half as full and exciting from a social, entertainment and interest angle, if I have not engaged in some of the societies the LSE Students’ Union has to offer. Comprising over 200 societies ranging from academic and career-focused, to creative and national, the LSESU provides students with the opportunity to engage with people sharing similar interests to spend quality time after normal university classes. Furthermore, the Athletics Union, part of LSESU, at LSE allows students to participate in 40 different sports groups, regardless of whether someone is an experienced athlete, or wants to take a challenge and try out something completely new.
Thanks to shared interests, passions or nationalities, societies provide a stage for people to bond and discuss topics they all care about outside of the course-specific lectures and classes. They include people of different ages, backgrounds and nationalities, studying various degrees at different academic stages, which creates an ideal environment for socializing, meeting interesting people and possibly finding friends for life. During my first term at LSE, I joined various societies and clubs, mostly those concerning my non-academic interests. These included for example the Literature, Polish Business and The Beaver societies, and Athletics & running and Swimming sports clubs. The societies that I joined allowed me to meet amazing people and meet some of my closest friends at LSE thus far and expand my friend group beyond people I have met in my course or accommodation.
Another huge advantage of joining a society or a sports club at LSE is that it provides an opportunity to have set commitments outside academic work. Whether it’s daily sports training, weekly tournaments or monthly discussions, societies encourage you to actively detach your mind from the never-ending readings or math sets, LSE students need to focus on a daily basis. Societies and especially sports clubs are a perfect opportunity to rest from constant studying and to refresh both the mind and the body. Running, which I engaged in, not only allowed me to stay healthy and chase my goals but also gave me the time and space to focus on something completely unrelated to my degree, allowing me to refresh and come back more motivated. Other than sports, the LSESU also offers societies related to different hobbies or passions, some of them even related to wine tasting, science fiction or chocolate, so there is something for everyone, and if not, students are always free to set up a completely new one.
Furthermore, societies can pave the way to your dream job, internship, or career and volunteering opportunities. Many people get engaged with more career-oriented societies, often connected but not limited to their degrees and job market of interest. Academic-related societies, such as the Law Society, for example, organize and facilitate various debates, panels or networking events, which allow the students to explore the job market and make valuable connections for the future. Being one of society officers or committee members can also supply you with exceptional communication, the management or organisational skills, which can boost your CV and career prospects. Furthermore, some societies, such as the Polish Business Society, allow students to design and create major social science conferences, interact with renowned speakers and interact with different businesses, companies and media platforms, expanding connections and understanding of the world.
The Students’ Union at LSE is a space for the connection of different clubs and societies and provides the students with opportunities to use their voices, debate and advocate for student well-being and satisfaction at university. It encourages democracy, equality and diversity. The elected executives of the SU work hard to organize a lot of extracurricular events and activities for students to help them rewind after classes and bring a higher sense of community to the students. Overall, my experience with the LSESU and student clubs and societies has been great, and I am looking forward to getting even more engaged in the next term.