(While this post is tailored to my experience as a GeogSoc committee member, take the advice in it and apply it to being on committee for any society of your choosing!)
Being on committee for a society can be a really fulfilling and rewarding experience. I spent my second year being the Social Secretary for the Geography Society. I got involved mostly because I attended and really enjoyed the GeogSoc events in my first year and I figured it was something I could try my hand at being involved in and organising. It can be pretty easy to get onto a committee, if more than one person is running for the role you want then at the AGM (Annual General Meeting – usually just a social get-together) you may have to say a few words about why you want the role. Then, the old committee hold a vote or pick the people they think are most suitable for the role. There are usually a range of roles to pick from when applying for the committee, so try and pick one that best suits attributes and skills you already have. I love planning a good party and chatting to new people so for me, social sec was where I could best utilise my skills. Being on committee can be time consuming and a fair whack of responsibility but I really enjoyed my time as social sec and found balancing it with my studies pretty easy. Aside from looking great on your CV, being on committee really opens up new social worlds to you and teaches you many transferable skills. It’s also a damn good laugh if you do it right.
My year on the committee of GeogSoc taught me a lot. I went into it with a lot of enthusiasm for bringing new students together and building a tighter social circle across the school of geography so people had friendly faces across the year groups. Being inclusive was super key, we hosted day and night, alcoholic, non-alcoholic and academic events. Throughout the year we held pizza parties, bowling nights, pub crawls, club nights and social meet-ups. Last year we even hosted the former President of the Maldives as a guest speaker at a talk on climate change! The idea is to bring together rad geographers at all levels who otherwise may not meet. Personally, my favourite memory of being social sec was the pub crawl I planned and hosted through the East End that ceremoniously ended in Drapers (obvs). The night was such a good laugh, so many different types of people came and we made some really solid memories. The committee itself usually becomes a pretty tight clan and I’m still good friends with my old lot (most of us are in the sassy group photo up top)!
I really can’t recommend being part of a committee any more! It can be scary to sign up and suddenly throw yourself into a society but it’s such a good experience. It widens your social circles, introduces you to lots of really interesting new people, strengthens your relationships with faculty and other students, teaches you loads of new skills and makes your more confident. The ability to assert yourself as part of a team and propose new ideas will carry you far into life post-degree too. To get involved, check out the page of QM societies and clubs to see what piques your interest. It could be an academic society, sporting one or just a hobby that you love. Alternatively, message an existing committee member of your chosen society who will be more than happy to chat to you and answer questions.
Good luck and get stuck in!