WGU Insiders: Being part of a society
Whether you’re looking for a new hobby or want to meet some new friends, societies can bring everyone from a range of courses to one main interest such as sci-fi, music, criminology or art. If you’re thinking about joining a society, don’t feel like you have to wait until the next Freshers Fair, because you can join at any time of the year!
This year, two of my friends and I, made our own society, The Creatives - an art/craft society in which anyone can join. I’m Vice President which means I help to plan and deliver the workshops we run and most importantly, make sure everyone has a great time with us.
With university it can be quite lonely at times, even though you could be surrounded by people. Societies are a great way to find people with common interests and start to build friendships through that. On the other hand, there can be times where you just want to socialise without going to parties or a night on the town but maybe doing something relaxing such as sewing, sketching or even just writing.
What I like to think about is how The Creatives can benefit people because I know across the university there can be stressed out students looking for an outlet to manage that stress, and put their energy to better use other than eating (biting my tongue here!). I think it can be beneficial to students, whatever course they do – you definitely don’t have to be studying an art based course. For example, we have a psychology student who comes here because she wanted to use the information and workshops that we do to help her with her course for art therapy.
For our very first workshop we did a bullet journal workshop to help students organise their life in a more light-hearted way than a boring academic calendar. So, we do try to make our workshops as helpful as we can for different aspects of student life.
Sometimes you gain skills that you never thought you might not gain, one thing we’re hoping to do is a photography studio, so people can improve their photography skills to maybe go forward and use on their course or as a brand new hobby.
We also encourage our members to suggest topics that they’re interested but haven’t tried and if we can, we’ll do a workshop on it. Another thing we want to encourage our members to do is take over a workshop to talk about and show us their skills. At the moment, we are keen to find people in the creative industry that are not visual art but written, verbal and performance artists who are confident enough to share their experiences and knowledge to pass on.
Being part of a society has been beneficial for me because for one thing, it’s helped me to become more confident. I’ve never been a confident person but instead a person with low-self-esteem and not one to raise my hand in class for the fear of getting the answer wrong and making myself look stupid. Being Vice President of a society means that with each workshop, I make sure I have a plan, including presentations and any paper work that is needing to be handed out. If there’s anything the members need for the session it’s also making a checklist to send out via e-mail, checking the equipment in the rooms we might be hosting in, and lastly making sure everyone is having a good time! This can help dramatically, especially when one of your career options is to become a teacher, tutor or lecturer like mine is.
At this moment in time we have to put a hold on meetings due to our December and assessment deadlines so we’re having to prioritise those things. But I can assure you we’ll be back in January 2018!