Author: Azura (Liberal Arts, Singapore)
As I write this, I’ve just left a handover meeting from my outgoing King’s Opera committee to next year’s incoming committee, and it’s a bittersweet feeling to be leaving – I’ve been involved with King’s Opera for all three years of university and have held a committee position for the last two years, so it’s been a huge part of my King’s experience. No matter what society you choose to get involved with in your time at King’s, it can make a huge difference in your university life if you want it to!
I’ve been involved with a variety of student societies at King’s, from performing arts to sports and others, and there’s a huge variety of groups to take part in! To help you find out which groups you might be interested in, all the student societies set up stalls at Fresher’s Fair at the start of each year for you to find out more about them. To get an idea of just how many student societies King’s has, you can check out this and this.
King’s Opera has been the society I’ve been most involved in throughout my time at King’s – but I almost didn’t find out that it existed! I happened to come across their stall at Fresher’s Fair and found out they were holding auditions for their upcoming production. I got a part in the chorus, and enjoyed it so much that I ran for the role of vice-president at the end of my first year, and the rest is history. I’ve also had the chance to perform solo roles and participate in masterclasses. While rehearsal schedules have kept me busy for many evenings and weekends over the last three years, it’s been absolutely worth it.
The great thing about most performance societies is you can choose to get involved in different ways, whether it’s performance, production (e.g. being a producer, costume designer or lighting operator for a specific production) or being on the committee – and of course, you can often do all three at some point!
In my second year, I decided to join the Karate club – I’d done karate as a child but hadn’t done any sports in years, so I was essentially starting again as a beginner. It was a great decision: I made a whole new group of friends, rebuilt my martial arts skills, and got stronger and fitter. I even represented our club at an international competition (I didn’t win anything, but it was exciting)!
I’ve also been a more casual member of other societies, such as the Liberal Arts Society. Most academic departments also have a society which organises talks and social events, and attending film screenings and open mic nights by the Liberal Arts Society has really helped me to get to know my course mates better. I’ve also attended events by the Intersectional Feminist Society and the LGBT+ Society, which have brought me in touch with a great community of fellow students and taught me a lot about liberation issues and current affairs.
Finally, there are cultural societies which are of interest to many international students: I’ve been a member of the Singapore Society, and King’s might just have a society for your home country too. It’s a great way to be in contact with other students from your home country, especially at the start of your course when you’re settling into life in London.
Of course, this just scratches the surface of the kind of student societies you can join at King’s – and if there’s a society you’d like to join that doesn’t exist at King’s yet, you can always start one!