As a fresher, societies will be the gateway to new friends and new experiences. But with over 200 different societies and sports clubs, SocMart easily becomes overwhelming and hard to navigate. Whether you are looking for a good night out with the cocktail society or bringing out the adventurous side of you with skydiving, the huge range of societies will have you wanting to sign up for everything!

To make sure you get the most out of SocMart, here are some tips on tackling the two day extravaganza:

Look online before you go

By going onto the union website www.ueastudent.com/groups#club-society#sports beforehand, you will get a better idea of the societies you want to join and can then head straight over to the stall- in the crowded LCR and sports hall, you will be thanking us later.

Go with a group

It is always daunting trying something you have never done before by yourself, so get your flatmates together and go around as a group. You will feel more confident signing up for a society if you already know someone else doing it.

Try before you buy

The costs of societies are really reasonable, but it is easy to pay for a club straight away and then never go, and doing this for every society can quickly add up. Instead, go along to the introductory session first and then pay if you think it will be something you can commit to.

Buying Sports Insurance (SAM)

It is great to join a sports society, but the most important thing to remember is that before you can even go along to the trial, you need to have bought sports insurance. This is unfortunately the costly aspect of doing sport, but once you have paid the £35, you are covered for the entire year and can do as many sports as you want. Plus, an added bonus is that with your SAM card, you can get 20% off from the union bar during the sports night every Wednesday.

Be adventurous

One of the best things about coming to university is being able to try new things, and there are so many societies out there that people aren’t aware off. Alongside your subject society, which is always a good place to start, don’t be afraid to try something that you have never done. Make sure you check out the more unusual societies, such as Assassins, where the members ‘hunt’ each other, or knitting, where you can catch up with new friends whilst learning a new skill. And of course, check out the Concrete stall for a chance to try out your writing abilities.

SocMart has so much to offer, but one final thing to remember is that if you cannot find a society which matches what you love to do, the union does offer students the opportunity to form new clubs and societies. All you need to do is find 20 other liked-minded people and get in touch with the union, who will then assist you with completing the necessary forms.

Make the most of SocMart and enjoy yourself- you’re only a fresher once.