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New Year, New Society?

With Refreshers Fair just around the corner, make your New Year’s Resolution one you can actually keep – join a society

January means that Qmotion will be full of eager freshers and Monday’s Calling might be remotely close to reaching capacity (for the first and last time in 2017). But as February rolls in you’ll find those gym memberships will have been neglected, committed to the past along with your failed Dry January attempt.

Instead, you should focus on making your New Year’s Resolution a simple and practical one: become a member of a society. Push yourself a little and step INTO your comfort zone. The great thing about Queen Mary is just how many different clubs it has to offer, and the number of societies is constantly expanding – there’s no shortage of students with obscure interests, who want to start something new and original. No matter if you’re nerdy or not, you’re bound to find people just like you.

Doubtless at the beginning you’ll struggle to remember a plethora of names, but after a week or so you’ll know most of the faces and you’ll be experiencing university in a completely new way. Societies give you a wide circle of friends from outside your course and year. Frankly, this was the thing I found most refreshing when I joined cheerleading – the typical law student career talk was nowhere to be heard; similarly, when I started writing for The Print, I met a group of people with a common love for news and words, a starting point which led to food, banter, and completely unrelated conversation topics.

This does not mean societies don’t provide you with career-enhancing opportunities – quite the opposite! Very often, academic societies will organise guest lectures or drinks receptions with eminent professors and prospective employers. Additionally, in large sports or academic societies you’ll find people in the year above you who’ve already learned the ropes and can give you advice on the modules you’re currently taking, how to write essays, recommend useful textbooks and talk about their experiences with applying for summer internships, tips you’ll find invaluable as the exam season approaches.

And most importantly: become passionate about something. Returning to uni in January, it’s all too easy to start slipping back into your old fresher habits of sleeping through the day (especially since you probably didn’t do much over the Christmas break). Finding something you’re interested in and discussing it on a regular basis will give your week some much needed routine and structure, and will be a fun distraction from the bleak reality of the piles of coursework you’ve accumulated over the holidays.

Image: Jean David Eynard

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