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By Rebecca White

3rd year BU Student, BSc (Hons) Archaeology

University is a great time to try new things and meet new people, so take advantage of everything you can. Membership to most societies is just £5 or less, for the entire year. Many of them run a series of guest lectures or trips, which will be subsidised by the society with no cost to you. In your second year, try running for the committee of a society! I was Secretary of the Archaeology Society in my second year, which was a really good opportunity. I was part of the team that organised guest lectures, which meant I got to network with all sorts of people within my industry. Through this, I was offered a free preview of a museum before opening date, which was a very interesting experience and saved me the cost of a ticket! Being on the committee meant we took guest lectures out for dinner beforehand, where we could ask questions about what they did and how to get a job like theirs – advice I wouldn’t have been able to get without the society!

Not all societies are about guest lectures though. There’s a society for almost everything you could think of. If you can think of something different, it’s so easy to set up your own: it just takes five people, and under an hour to fill in the required paperwork, and you’re off. Don’t feel like you can only join things related to your degree. Despite being an archaeologist, I was offered a position on the student committee of the Institute of Directors at the university, which means I’ve learnt a lot about the business world, which will help me whatever career I choose. There’s plenty of sports clubs – for just £5 you can join clubs like the netball or badminton club, and it’s up to you if you want to play competitively or just have fun. A lot of them will even provide the equipment for you. If sport isn’t your thing, then the university runs its own – free! – series of Conversation Clubs, with a range of languages and proficiency levels. You meet for an hour a week and chat in that language. Languages include French, Spanish, German, Italian, Arabic, and Mandarin Chinese.

There’s something for everyone within the university, whatever your interest, and participation in a society looks good on your CV. You’ll meet people from other courses or schools, which will undoubtedly lead to friendships that you wouldn’t have made just staying within your own school. £5 isn’t much for a year’s membership, so make sure you take a good look round at Fresher’s Fair and find something, even if it’s just one club! Find out more on the SUBU (Students’ Union at Bournemouth University) website.

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