By Amy Franck
Quite frankly , the entire point of Freshers’ Week is to throw your money away. It’s all part of the fun. However, if you want to ward off the society hawks who would love to part you and your money, look straight ahead and assume a murderous demeanour. No one wants to talk to a psychopath.
I was absolutely delighted with the new college atmosphere and made the mistake of talking to people. Thus, 17 societies were joined. Talking to you isn’t the only way societies can rope you into joining. Sometimes this happens in a literal sense. Last year I was alarmingly lassoed into joining the kayaking club. Wandering among the stalls wearing a slightly dippy smile, I had a lasso thrown around me, and before I knew it, an avid kayaker had reeled me in and listed all the benefits of joining the kayaking club. I filled in the form and handed over two euro so that the kayaker would release me. I have never kayaked in my life, certainly not competitively, and I never attended a meeting.
Don’t be surprised by how many societies you join and how few of their events you attend. The Hist and the Phil are musts, I’m afraid. You’ll be a mighty muppet if you do not join for the sake of saving a fiver. You’ll have to watch all your friends with pretensions of intelligence waltzing off to debates and lectures in the evenings, whilst you watch Jeremy Kyle repeats.
One of the high points last year was a debate called, “Is Islam compatible with the West?” run by the Phil. Islam4UK – recently banned by anti-terrorist legislation in Britain – had been invited. The flunkies were bonkers and the leader of the group, Anjem Choudary, was clearly dangerous. He ended his speech by thundering, “Our aim is to see the flag of Islam flying over the Dáil! … Is that how you say it? The Dáil!” Their gimmicky name made this rather humorous. Who doesn’t want to see this kind of thing? The two societies do invite some very odd people, but happily they also invite proper people to speak as well.
If you really want to get involved with a society, you’re going to have to be proactive. You should not expect opportunities to pop up, you really have to talk to the people who run the society. You may be surprised as to how there is no obligation in joining a society. Don’t be put off the big societies such as Law and the likes, even if you have no affiliation with them, as they organise some excellent events.
Make sure you keep all of your society cards – they’re very handy and get you some excellent discounts. Finally, join the climbing society. Every time you walk behind College, you will see the climbing wall and rue the day that you saved two euro.