Maynooth University Clubs & Socs Officer Darragh Moran tells us why students should join a society in college.
Freshers nationwide are making their way, nervously, to their first lectures and tutorials, unsure of what to expect. Starting college can be a daunting time, as those who have been through it can attest to. But luckily, there are people to help you. Every college has their own Student's Union, ready to help students with whatever they need. We spoke to Sociteies Officer in Maynooth University, Darragh Moran, about the importance of joining a society in college:
 
Coming to college can be a fantastic, action-packed few weeks, full of excitement and new opportunities. But not everyone can see the sunshine and rainbows. Starting in college, having to meet new people and trying to make new friends, can be a daunting experience for some. But not to worry, ‘the night (college) is not so dark and full of terrors’!
 
Finding people who you share common interests with can be hard when starting college, and that’s one of the reasons why we have our clubs and societies! A club/society is, essentially, an ‘interest group’, which is a group of people with an interest in a specific activity/idea/ideology, who come together through their shared interest. So if you like tea, or Harry Potter, you could join the Tea Society or Hogwarts Society and go to a few of their events; it makes it so much easier to find other people you have things in common with. Clubs and Societies are usually run by committees, comprising of a President, Secretary, Treasurer, PRO, First Year Rep etc. These people organise, and run events for their members. Running for a committee position on a club or society can seem like a load of hassle, but it’s not, and it can have real benefits for you. Co-curricular activity can teach you to build self-confidence, to develop as a person and provide you with skills that you can use in the working world. - Employers love to see experience with a Club or Society on your CV.
 
Making connections and friends in college is so important. You are training, speaking Gaeilge with, chilling and hanging around with future business managers, lawyers, TV producers etc. Get to know them; add them on Facebook, follow them on twitter and connect with them on LinkedIn. These connections will be invaluable to you when you’re older, and you could end up making friends that will last a lifetime.
 
When you enter into higher education, you are suddenly an adult, making decisions for yourself and being responsible for your own health and well-being. Some people don’t realise this until late into their career, but everyone needs a distraction. A distraction from your work, from your problems and from everyday life. This could simply be a game of chess, watching Game of Thrones with the GoT Society, playing Skyrim with the Games Society or togging out for training with the Aussie Rules Club. Taking that ‘break’ from your study and work can be super beneficial for your physical, and mental health.
 
My final piece of advice would be to find one or two club and societies that you really care about, and stick to them, we all love to get involved but don’t spread yourself too thin by joining too many. You are here for your education at the end of the day!
 
You can find out more about MSU here