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What the Student Society You've Joined Says About You

What the Student Society You've Joined Says About You main image

Six months into the start of university, about 80% of students have dropped out of the student societies they joined in Freshers’ Week. Many (about three in every four) did not turn up to a single meeting or event. You might have given your email to five or ten groups at the Freshers’ Fair, turned up to three of these societies’ first events, and now you don’t even open any of the emails that the guys keep sending you. Or you might have stuck with one or two student societies so far… in which case, you don’t have to say anything else, we know everything there is to know about you!

The activists

Amnesty International: You’re probably getting a law degree, you have a strong sense of right and wrong, but have no issue with being told what to do. A petition a day and a strong lobbying unit will eventually save the world.

Greenpeace: You’ve got a hippie gene somewhere in side of you, although it’s not always obvious. You hate to see what big corporations are doing to the world and you’re ready to do something a little crazy if that gives you a shot at changing them.

Tibetan liberation societies: You hate that the world is extending the red carpet to the Chinese government and big Chinese money. You belong to a small group of very dedicated activists who spend half their time explaining that they don’t actually hate the Chinese people or their culture.

Independent human rights groups: You are disappointed that university culture isn’t as radical as you thought it would be. You had imagined finding a magical world filled with intelligent and critical people ready to set up barricades for pretty much anything, but now think most students are cynical, apolitical, apathetic… and drunk.

The political groups (UK)

Labour party: You spend your days arguing old labour vs. new labour politics. Slightly left-wing, you hope to be elected into a position in the Student Union and move on to becoming Prime Minister soon after that.

Conservative party: You didn’t celebrate Thatcher’s funeral; you mourned her passing respectfully. Slightly right-wing, you hope to be elected into a position in the Student Union and move on to becoming Prime Minister soon after that.

Lib-dem: You are open-minded and free-spirited, in favor of open borders and maintaining good ties with Europe. You might make it into a position in the Student Union – you’ll definitely try – but you know that you have no shot at making it to Prime Minister after the coalition…

Communist party: Most of your wardrobe is black. You have a large collection of books and can quote Marx as easily as you can quote Chomsky. When you run for a position in the Student Union, your speeches will make it clear that the fate of the whole world depends on your victory.

The athletes

Cricket team: You’re either a true blue Brit and proud of it, or you’re from one of the Commonwealth countries. You’re really passionate about cricket, that’s for sure: nobody plays this game just for kicks.

Rugby team: You like the adrenaline and the nobility of the “game of gentlemen”. You’re not afraid of a little contact and every night you go out you enjoy it, every second and every pint.

Rowing team: You believe in discipline and team spirit. Chances are you’re a morning person and will be up hours before your housemates.

The American sports (lacrosse, American football, basketball, baseball, cheerleading): Maybe you watched too many American college movies growing up, or maybe you’re just American…

Interest groups

The gothic society: You’re also a member of at least two other groups, and those include the Burlesque Appreciation Group, Sci-Fi, Steampunk Society, or something related to Warhammer. You like being yourself, you like wearing your trusted leather trench coat, and you stopped caring what everybody else thought about you or your friends about 10 years ago.

Debating society: You miss the Model United Nations and you worry about what your CV will look like in three years’ time. Don’t worry, kid – it’ll look just fine!

Drama club: There’s a lot of creative and a little bit of crazy in you that you have to let out on a regular basis. 

Real ale society: Chances are you’re English, but you might be Irish, Scottish or Welsh too. I’m going to take a stab in the dark and guess that you probably enjoy an artisan pint.

AISEC: You’re not going to miss a chance to network during your three-year degree. You know the whole dancing and chanting thing is a bit ridiculous, but you’re the kind of person that will literally do anything to secure a good job before graduating.

The internationals

National societies: You’re studying abroad, you don’t want to lose touch with your roots and the chance to enjoy some of the food from back home is never to be missed!

International students association: The closest thing to the Erasmus spirit that you found. You know where to find the best house party, and you’ll dance to K-pop and a Bollywood soundtrack just as easily as you’d rock out to Kasabian or The Killers.

The Altruists

Nightline: You’ve got a big heart, want to help other students and don’t really need to hear thank yous or get patted on the back for it. You’ll be up all night when you’re on duty: nobody knows how long and tough these nights can be and you can’t tell them, but you don’t care. When a call comes through and your training kicks in, you make a real difference to some student’s life.

Red Cross: There’s a bit of a nurse in you, but you’re not ready to sign up to Médecins Sans Frontières just yet. You believe that small changes make a big difference and that keeps you going for hours, holding on to those little plastic collection cups.

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Bottom line is: yes, there’s a lot that we can guess from the student society you’re a part of. But that’s the whole point of student societies; it’s to join like-minded people and make friends beyond your hall of residence or class. Joining a student society enriches your experience during university and expands your social network! If you haven’t joined one yet, I seriously recommend it. What do you have to lose?

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Written by Francisco Peres
Francisco is the Head of Copy, Content and Creativity at Uniplaces, an online marketplace for booking student accommodation. He grew up in Porto, Portugal and has lived in England, Thailand and Mozambique. He swears he’s lost belongings in all the continents of the world. He loves the sea, books and winding roads, but also has a soft spot for coffee and long conversations. He’s really thankful the world is as large as it is.

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