Do you really need to be part of a society to get the full uni experience?
Are you really missing out on anything other than sports stash and an Oceana societies card?
Around 310 societies, including sports teams and course societies, mean Southampton arguably has something for everyone; from the rugby lad to the yoga gal. At Bunfight you signed up for everything, doing as many taster sessions as humanly possible in one weekend, promising yourself you’d keep up American football and kayaking for the rest of the year. But now it’s week seven and the only reminder you have is a free Wessex Scene pen and you haven’t been to Wide Lane in weeks. Yes the socials are great and yes you can look back at your uni days knowing you actually did something outside of Hartley Library, but does being a part of that really make or break your uni experience?
Joining a sports club has obvious benefits like the sense of team spirit and the pride of representing your university. Sports like rugby, lacrosse and football have themed socials which provide top bants, and that same team spirit means you don’t feel like too much of a dick as you all enter the Stag’s in your ‘tight and bright’ attire. Socials are a great excuse to attend every Ocies Wednesday and as a result miss every Thursday 9am, but its ok because VKs are only £2, and entry is no problem because you also flashed your Oceana societies card on the way in.
Of course stash must be bought as well, how else can you let everyone on campus know that SUTC is life? You wear your hoodie with pride at all times, as you will long after you’ve left Soton. But the merch itself can be pricey, and is repping it really worth the financial commitment? And does it make your overall time at uni any better? One social semester in and you’ll be tempted by the relatively inexpensive Easter tour, offering the chance of sun, sea and sand *cough* with your new found friends, but again, are you really missing out if you don’t get on the coach?
One of the highlights of semester 2, varsity sees us annually annihilate our rivals at the University of Portsmouth. There’s nothing like being a part of Team Southampton, ready to bleed burgundy and celebrate at the after party. On the bus with your team and hearing the crowds ask what we think of Pompey, the whole atmosphere is electric. At the same time, varsity is also a great day to be a spectator; going to watch all your friends play a variety of sports, able to drink the whole day and still go to the after party, with no pressure of having to win anything on your shoulders.
Sport and Well-Pricey
Prices for sports and well-being membership for 2017/18 are now tiered, meaning the same plan available for £165 last year has sky-rocketed to £230. For most clubs, the most expensive programme is needed, add this to membership for the club itself, and then the cost of new kit. This also doesn’t include money paid for socials, and the extra expense of taxis home etc. All of which means using a sport as a form of socialising practically requires a mortgage, and could potentially affect other areas of your uni experience, e.g. cutting back on your Dominoes oder!
But what if you haven’t found a society right for you? You actually really love your flat, and are too lazy to drag yourself away from easy flat pres to some second year on your course’s house in Portswood, just to be with the same people from your lectures. Some of the best nights out are with your flatmates, having bonded over the usual fresher feels, you take pride in your collection of cones and road signs, and living together means a chunder chart can take pride of place in your kitchen, alongside the pull chart of course.
Membership to a club or society does not necessarily mean you won’t meet people, or have the same great nights out, if anything its easier (you live together), and can all laugh about the previous night’s antics over breakfast the next day. If you’re super lucky, you’ll all do different courses, and can introduce each other to course mates that way, expanding your social circle!
Feature Photo Credit: David Evans