For me there are two sides to opportunities offered to you at uni; things accessed through the university itself such as your course, the library, all the help and advice services, and even studying abroad. The second is things accessed through the Students Union. The SU is a fantastic place where you as a student get to directly change things in the university experience, and get involved in a whole bunch of activities, some you might never have heard of! I won’t go into the details of how it all works as there are plenty of websites for that (http://www.udsu.co.uk/) so instead, here’s a handy explanation of the Society side of the SU:
Societies are like sports teams in the sense that you gather with a bunch of people with similar interests to you, but without the actual sport side of it (who needs that anyway!) Our 60+ societies available offer a huge range of different activities, none of them similar in any way! This means that chances are if you have an interest and want to pursue it further, there will be something for you through the SU. Our societies are separated into 6 main categories: Academic, Active and Performance, Buxton and Chesterfield, Charity and Campaigns, Interest, and Religious and Cultural.
Particularly popular societies include Airsoft, Cakes and Cocktails, DJ and Mix, Theatre and even the Social Society, a place just for doing different activities and meeting a load of new people! A lot of courses offered at the uni even have their very own society, which usually involves setting up extra opportunities to further your studying. I would personally recommend the History Society, who in the past have organised trips to historic sites across the countries, and a lot of pub quizzes! If you can’t find one just right for you, then even setting up your own society is remarkably easy! All you need is the commitment of a few other people interested in helping you set up the society, then you can begin marketing and searching for more members of your society!
Societies are very flexible in the sense that you get out as much as you put in: there is no obligation to attending each and every event your society hosts, but at the same time you will always have the opportunity further into your time at uni to become a committee member of the group!
One of the most important features of the Societies is that it’s all completely up to you. You can choose how often you commit to the group and you can have a say what goes on in the society. So have fun with it, when you get to Derby see what is on offer and push yourself to try out all these new things! For me personally, the societies make up a huge part of my university experience.