For incoming first years, it can be hard to choose which clubs and societies you want to join. As an active member of many different clubs and societies throughout the year, Áine Monk talks about her experience with being involved.
Looking back on my first two years in DCU, I can wholeheartedly admit that dedicating time to societies in college, has been one of the best and most worthwhile decisions I have made at third-level. 
 
Having spent a lot of my time on extracurricular activities at second-level, I was eager to continue voluntary work and to try new things. 
 
Taking part in various clubs and societies made it a whole lot easier for me to settle in. Everyone joins for similar reasons and most have similar interests. 
 
At first, I led myself to believe that I could, in fact, take on a lot of new hobbies, despite living the commuter life that year. This proved challenging, as most workshops and meetings took place in the evening time and the bus journey home appeared rather undesirable.  
 
I did manage to actively take part in the Media Production Society, having been assigned to a radio show and also travelled to London in 2014 as part of their international trip. 
 
In first year, I also got the chance to act as hairstylist for the Look Magazine (DCU Style Society) and modelled in Project Young Designer as part of the DCU Fashion Show. 
 
Second year was the year I really immersed myself in society life. I decided that I wanted to become more involved in smaller societies, and so attended various AGM’s in the hope of securing a place on the committee of each. 
 
DCU Sober Soc is a society where students believe they can only join if they stay strictly sober, which really is not the case. We run various events which are alcohol-free, so no need to worry if you’re a fan of naggins and Jagerbombs, all are welcome!  
 
Being a part of this society really made second year for me. I met a lot of new people and helped to organise events such as a trip to the zoo, SoberStock (an alcohol-free festival) and Sober Sessions. It also led to the realisation that I may not need to be intoxicated in order to enjoy myself and socialise with others. 
 
The Walk and Talk Society was set up just a few months ago to promote positive mental health and to make students more aware of issues relating to mental health. 
 
I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety in October, and after trying and failing with counselling, I really wanted to get involved to see if other people like me could be helped through this outlet in an informal setting.  
 
I spent a lot of my spare time writing in both English and Irish last year. DCU Journo Soc publish a bi-weekly newspaper here in DCU called “The College View”. It’s a wonderful way to boost your portfolio and to tread in the waters of other writing styles. 
 
I mainly wrote for the Gaeilge and Features sections, and was absolutely ecstatic when I was appointed Gaeilge Editor for the coming year.  
 
I was hoping to participate more actively in An Cumann Gaelach and was lucky to have been appointed as secretary. This society is probably one of the most hard-working and active societies in the college and was duly awarded ‘Most Promising Society’ at the Society Awards this year! 
 
As I enter my final year, the only regret I have is that I couldn’t take on more roles in societies. Be sure to join at least one on Clubs & Socs Day and try not to overload yourself, believe me, you’ll find it terribly difficult to be an active member in twenty societies!
 
 
Photo:Pepe Pont