Student societies offer more than friendships

Students participate in the ANU Psychology Society o-week activities Co-Presidents of the ANU Psychology Society, Sarah Twyman and Reese Chen

The Australian National University (ANU) offers a diverse range of social clubs and societies that students can join to increase their participation in university life.

Social clubs do offer the opportunity to connect with peers and build friendship groups, however, many societies also offer activities that support the growth of a student’s professional network.

The ANU Psychology Society is one of those clubs. Current Co-President, Ms Reese Chen, who shares the role with Ms Sarah Twyman, advised “Our primary aim is to connect with and help students. We are the official and largest social network for psychology students at ANU, however, our membership is open to any student with an interest in psychology.”

“We provide social events for new students to meet their peers, and for later year students we help them to build their professional networks through career-based and academic-oriented activities.”

The Psychology Society offers membership and non-membership based activities. With a small yearly subscription, members have access to exclusive events, and free or discounted tickets to organised events.

“As an example of the type of exclusive events that members can attend – at the end of February we hosted an academic speed friending event”, Ms Chen said.

“It gave new students an opportunity to get to know their psychology lecturers and tutors in a more casual setting than the classroom. It also allowed new students to interact with each other.”

Ms Lorenna Caron, a student in the ANU Bachelor of Visual Arts program, recently joined the Psychology Society and is looking forward to what it will offer her in her final year of study.

“Due to the pandemic the majority of my degree has been spent inside, doing remote learning. I felt I had missed out on a major part of the university experience – particularly the social involvement,” Ms Caron advised.

“Since the art school currently has no society, I felt the best fit for me would be somewhere in the humanities and because psychology really interests me, and I'm engaged with it in my art practice, it felt like a good fit.”

“I definitely felt out of my comfort zone initially, but I’ve given myself the chance to interact with a whole section of ANU students that I otherwise would never get to meet.”

“Diversifying my connections with interdisciplinary involvement and casting my net further than the art school ensures I don't just stay stuck in the 'art world'.

“I feel really engaged with the people I've met and interacted with so far, and even though it has been a long time since I started university, I really do feel like I'm finally building meaningful connections with my peers,” Ms Caron said.

“I also have never been to a society ball, so I’m looking forward to participating in the Psychology Society ball before I graduate,” Ms Caron added with a smile.

Learn more about the ANU Psychology Society in this video or for more information, direct message them via their Facebook page.