There’s a world of positive benefits of being involved in student clubs and societies. Here are just eight of them.
1. Widen your social network, make new friends and meet people who share your interests. If, for example, twitching is your thing, you’ll find that birds of a feather flock together at Birding UCT. Or, since almost all major beliefs, doctrines and denominations are represented on campus, you can find fellowship in the faith society of your choice.
2. Discover new interests. Who knew hip-hop could be such fun? Or perhaps you want to hone your debating skills. There are also classic activities on offer from organisations like the Ballroom and Latin Dancing Society, UCT African Choral, and the Wine and Cultural Society.
3. Nurture fresh skills, create new connections and boost future prospects. Clubs and societies also provide advantages in terms of your future employability. Women in Computer Science, Black Law Students’ Forum, Engineers Without Borders and the Investment Society are just four that could look good on your CV.
4. Give back to the community. If you care about the environment, you might consider joining the Green Campus Initiative. If animal welfare is close to your heart, We Are Animals will interest you. Or, you could consider taking up the cause of Equal Education.
5. Learn more about yourself. Joining a student organisation presents many opportunities to get to know yourself, your goals and your strengths better. This self-awareness can be beneficial in future. Maybe test your mentoring skills by joining the Golden Future Project, which works to empower others.
6. Develop expertise and experience in event planning and organisation. Most clubs and societies depend on meetings, socials, competitions, trips and fundraisers for their success. If you become a committee member, you can gain invaluable experience. Give the Debating Union a test drive and you’ll have a chance to polish your presentation skills too.
7. Achieve a balance. It’s healthy to have breaks from your studies from time to time! While the primary objective of being here is to study and earn a degree, being involved with a club or society can help you lead a balanced university life. Membership in the UCT Entrepreneurs Society might help you to explore your capacity for innovation and resourcefulness.
8. Integrate on campus. It can be challenging, as a first-year, to adapt to student life. Clubs and societies provide an excellent way to integrate. It’s a good way of making friends with people who are not necessarily doing the same course as you. Have a look at the societies categorised as national/cultural for some ideas.
Join the clubs
Whether it’s academic, religious, cultural, social or political, one of the more than 100 student clubs and societies on campus will be a fit for you. You can find out more about them during O-Week on Jammie plaza, and either sign up on the spot with the societies that interest you, or pay membership fees to the cashiers on level five of the Steve Biko Students’ Union building (or have membership fees charged to your student account).
Check out the societies website at www.dsa.uct.ac.za/student-development/student-societies-organisations/overview for the full list!
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