Every society you will join at uni

Expand your horizons, bulk up your CV


DJ society

You asked for decks Christmas of first year – Mummy and Daddy bought you the Numark NS7s. Traded in the red chinos and plus fours for a flat cap and Air Max. Now you’re part of the elite DJ society, started at Bristol in 2009 by the esteemed Chris Goddard, you can brainstorm ideas on setting up your own night – but only if you can have the headline slot.

Amateur dramatics

When I agreed to come and see your play I thought it might be something light, maybe a stripped-down version of Rent or A Winter’s Tale told only through interpretive dance. What I actually got was four hours of postmodern theatre in which you slathered yourself in goose fat, cried a lot, and intermittently showered the front few rows of the audience in animal blood. 

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American football

You didn’t make it into the rugby team, but you’ve seen a lot of early noughties teen flicks so it’s as good as.

Assassins

Wouldn’t it be so funny if we all pretended to shoot each other on campus? Yeah so funny, we’d use water pistols and cute notes and pretend polystyrene bombs. We could throw water balloons through Dan’s window and put a fake bomb in Stuart’s rucksack! It’ll be so jokes.

Then we can order MG.44 assault rifles off the dark web and systematically murder all our classmates! Oh, you’re not into that? Of course, me neither. Was just kidding obviously.

AIESEC

A so called “not for profit” organisation exclusively for students whose unloving parents ship them off to uni only to get them shipped off for a corporate banking internship somewhere else in the world. But it’s not a society, it’s a mini private members club charging an £800 membership fee. For that you buy yourself a place on list of international students and unnervingly enthusiastic people. There’s also an assessment centre just to get in (genuinely enjoyed by all) and I’m pretty sure the first social of the year is a conference.

Model United Nations

MUN isn’t a society, it’s a cult of wealthy brats who care just a little too much about the world and poverty. Back at The British School of Geneva MUN was the event of the year. “This delegate believes Nambia has the right to clean water” says Gaby, in her transatlantic accent. Do you Gaby? Have you been? Or did you just fly over it on your last trip to Hong Kong? Sure, joining might improve your public speaking skills, but you certainly won’t be making any friends – when these nerds aren’t busy caring about others less fortunate they’re competing in talent competitions and swimming galas and playing the clarinet.

Anime

It’s called Hentai and it’s art.

Badminton

If I was not a footballer, something else I’d rather be. If I was not a footballer a BADMINTON PLAYER I’D BE. Stroke my cock, stroke my cock, stroke my shuttlecock.

Cheerleading

Lots of energy guys. Let’s keep the pump going. Bring intensity and cheer. Never. Stop. Smiling.

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Chess club

Bunch of real pawn stars.

Cheese & Wine Society

You are literally so deep in your overdraft, you’ll suck off anyone for a slice of brie and a glass of merlot.

Harry Potter / Quidditch

You like the feel of the wind blowing through your flowing locks as you speed toward the snitch. You like the feel of warm rubber between your legs. Dumbledore isn’t dead – bring it home son. Just remember to tag your fucking spoilers.

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Clay pigeons

You and Hugo really know how to have a big one. You’ve travelled way too far north, and just wanna kick back in your chinos and feel at home in Durham’s chilly climate.

Croquet

Tarquin works eight ‘till late most days in the city. Since Jenny took the kids with her to Surrey there hasn’t been much else in his life other than work. At weekends he tries to get up to St Andrews for a few rounds to unwind, but really he lives for the croquet reunion weekends. Except Murray still has 15 years left at Leyhill for white collar crime, Milo and Giles are away selling M16s and grenades in the DRC and Theodore has never been the same since he did all that ayahuasca in Belize. Tarquin is alone.

Spoken word

Mic drop after mic drop and still nothing rhymes with orange.

FemSoc

We wrote something funny here, but they had it banned.

Football

Just one of the boys eh? Love top banter and smashing pints but didn’t have a private education, so you had to join the football team. You have a punny five-a-side team name and even when you’re injured, you show up supporting the lads on crutches, wearing a trench coat with a clipboard managing the defensive strategy from the sidelines. You wear a 2012/13 Borussia Dortmund strip to lectures.

Jazz band

If I buy a trilby, will girls talk to me?

Dance

Provocative stretches, a life in leotards and on the arm of every sport captain on campus, they’re basically the cool version of the cheerleaders who aren’t massive twats. The ability leaves a lot to be desired though. Sometimes it’s a bit of clammy romping of a burlesque themed performance before varsity darts. At other times it’s a clusterfuck of flailing limbs attempting to re-enact Swan Lake. But the bitching is rife, no one likes anyone else and by March there’ll only be four members left.

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Doctor Who society

You will never know the sweet embrace of another human.

Acapella

The Pitch Perfect sequel wasn’t even that good and Glee is over. Let it go.

History

Paying the £5 entry fee seemed like a great idea in freshers’, but now you’re stuck on a rainy pub crawl in a far-too-expensive Marie Antoinette costume, drinking alone while everyone else bonds over the fact they’re all dressed as Tutan-fucking-khamun.

Handball

A mismatched gathering of fourth years who went on a year abroad to some European country and fell in love with an obscure sport which is a fair bit like basketball but not as good.

Lacrosse

“Join lax mate, everyone else who didn’t make the cut for Rugby Union is. Plus, there’ll be fit girls in it.”

Law Soc

As a student who does not study law, I can say you’re a cunt.

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Circus

Just decent people having fun.

Netball

Me, Claudia and Livvy all come from Berkshire. We wear rose gold Michael Kors watches and all went to Mykonos together. Netball is a great way to meet people who are exact clones of me and test the boundaries of my sexuality in a way our all-girls school just couldn’t.

Pantomime soc

I could really rinse you guys and I want you to know it. I could ask what the fuck is wrong with the 18-year-old who decides to join a pantomime society. I could point out how weird, how wrong the whole thing is, from the very sound of the word pantomime to the fact the entire thing revolves around throwing sweeties at little kids while screaming the word “behind”. I could go through every character from Widow Twankey to Peter Pan in forensic detail, explaining how and why they’re lame, sad, embarrassing. I could do all of those things and I think every right-thinking person in this country would nod their heads and agree with me, and maybe even chuckle a little in the process.

But you know what? I’m not going to do it. Instead I’ll say this: fair play to you pantomimers. You clearly do not give a fuck. It takes real savagery to join the panto soc as a fresher, even if you probably are a sex pest in the making.

Pokemon Trainers Soc

Here’s a little theory I have: everyone who joins a society at university is really fucking ugly. There is one exception to this outstanding, universal truth: the girl who dresses up as Misty in the Pokemon Trainers soc. Oh my god. Whether it’s Nottingham Trent or St Andrews, Plymouth or Bath there is a girl – admittedly quite a weird girl – wearing hot pants, a yellow crop top and red braces, surrounded by boys called Nathan who know nothing about Pokemon but want to know everything about her. If you can catch it, it’s the creepiest spectacle on campus.

Pole dancing

You can’t stop telling everyone“pole” is “the best exercise for fitness” and posting daily pictures of your slamming bod. 

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Polo

Existing only for the naked calendar and never to get any coverage for their huge varsity match against Royal Agricultural College over 50 miles away, no one really knows who the polo players are. Spot them by white jeans in the winter, triple barrelled surnames and sporting a sizeable Habsburg chin.

Powerlifting

You may have gained strength and self-confidence since you joined the Powerlifting Society, but you’ve lost much more valuable things. Like your friends and your sanity. And your neck.

Piers Gav

Your dad told you to join. He was in it. His dad was in it. And his dad. None of them talk about what they did to get in it.

Radio

“Great show tonight guys, that’s our record listenership for the term.”

“Wow, how many?”

“10!”

RAG

Raising: your own profile.

Giving: not a single fuck about the developing world.

RockSoc

Squiddly diddly *air guitar*.

Rowing

Go on Lance, push. Push. Use those lats brother. Thrust. Thrust, Thomas, thrust like you’ve never thrusted before. Errnuungfh. Eeeeerrrnnnnggghhh. Almost there. ALMOST THERE. Christ boys, what a morning. We worked so hard my latex is chafing. Let’s hit the showers.

Live Action Role Play

My real name is Katrina but online I’m Prince Liberus in my own Harry Potter/Narnia slash fiction crossover. I’m a level 90 mage.

Real Ale Society

Hi there real ale fans, my name is Will and I’m here to tell you that Terry Pratchett (RIP) was a talentless cunt, cricket isn’t a sport, metal isn’t music and, above all other things, real ale is a lie. Why? Because you’re only drinking it to make yourself feel superior to the lager drinkers who bullied you at school for being part of the lunch time Warhammer club – not because it actually tastes nice.

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Rugby League

Rugby league is the “tougher” one they tell you. There’s more contact, less kick and clap, a higher level of intensity. It’s the original rugby. The professional rugby. Why then, does every “league” player at any uni other than Leeds Beckett have the stamina of a retired plasterer with an iron lung and the well-rounded tits of a mum-of-two? Sam Burgess, Jason Robinson, Jonathan Davies. All the good league players ditch it when they realise where the girls flock to. Take. The. Hint.

Rugby Union

INT: Walkabout, Wednesday, 7.30pm sharp. A group of blue-shirted men circle a group of 18-year-old boys, each one clasping a pint glass full of snakebite between their hands.

His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy, there’s vomit on his ones already, halls spaghetti, he’s nervous but on the surface he looks calm and ready to neck bombs, but he keeps on forgetting what he’s got to down, the whole club goes loud, he opens his mouth but the pints won’t come out, he’s choking how, everybody’s joking now, the clock’s run out, time’s up, over, blaow, snap back to reality, oh, there goes gravity, oh, there goes the fresher, he choked, he’s so mad but he won’t give up that easy, no, he won’t have it, he knows his whole back’s to these ropes, it don’t matter, he’s dope, he knows that but he’s broke, he’s so stagnant, he knows when he goes back to his posh halls, that’s when it’s back to his dad again, yo, this whole rhapsody, he better go capture this moment and hope it don’t pass him. You better booze yourself in the music, the moment, you own it, you better never let it go, you only get one bolt, do not miss your chance to blow, this opportunity comes once in a lifetime yo.

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Student newspaper

First pay a £12 a year joining fee and you too can have a cracking shared byline on page 12. You can now put “journalist” on your Twitter bio so it’s worth it. It’s better than The Tab, they’re not even an official society. Cunts.

Vegetarian

Obviously meat is murder, but there’s no point in being a vegetarian unless you can talk about it at length in a group setting.

Tolkien Society

You have my bow. And my axe. And everybody else’s conviction that nobody who joins a Tolkien society has, or have will have sexual intercourse with another human being.

Volleyball

No, we don’t play in bikinis and no, it’s not the same thing as netball.

Baking

In a desperate effort to make friends in halls, Suzy bought her cupcake stand along. She bakes a batch before Bake Off every week but just doesn’t understand why nobody sticks around to watch it with her – except for Megan who plays women’s rugby. Until she found Bake Soc. Now they spend their afternoons baking rainbows and smiles and eating their feelings.

Fashion

You drink your Diet Coke with a straw and you’ll end up working for a soulless PR company. Cancel the Vogue subscription. Where in the EU are you actually from?

Snowsports

Gods among men.

Zombie Apocalypse Survival soc

Like, there’s something a little off about people who actively train for the end of the world, something a little David Koresh, a little Unabomber. The guys in the Zombie soc never wear short sleeve shirts, the guys in the Zombie soc have a books about Satan stashed under their beds back home, the guys in the Zombie soc look at the ceiling when they can’t sleep and count to 1000. They wear camo but they don’t go to raves. They were probably raised by their grandparents after their parents died in a motorway pile up in 1994. When you pass by they suddenly stop talking, looking very shifty indeed. They are watching. They are waiting.

Hide’n’seek soc

Wearing the T-shirts you can only purchase in Matalan and flare jeans, the future presenters of Nickelodeon find it fun to hide in cupboards, empty seminar rooms, under your duvet, in your shower and outside your window. Good clean fun.

English Soc

There’s no better way to read Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage than with a few good friends and a fine bottle of port, but if Hamish steals my analysis of Canto IV again I shit you not I will spool his brains with my first edition of Ulysses.

Comedy society

“So I was in the student union bar the other day, and this girl came up to me…no, really, she did…hello…is this thing on?”

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Fetish Soc

It’s just a group of friends having fun.

By Bella Eckert, Grace Vielma, Roisin Lanigan, Matt McDonald, Jack Cummings, Tom Jenkin, Oli Dugmore, Bobby Palmer, Josh Kaplan, Cat Reid, Will Lloyd, Daisy Bernard, Craig O’Callaghan, Ollie Parsons, Lizzie Thomson, Charlie Gardiner-Hill – and Alexander Whyte.