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If you talk to a university student, most of them will tell you that making friends was one of their biggest concerns about starting. Then if you ask them how they made friends, most will say that they made friends through joining societies. I am one of those people.
As someone who didn’t have many friends at school, I was terrified about going to university. After two weeks at Lancaster, I was still struggling to settle in, and I realised that the way to settle in was to join societies. A friend I’d made on my course suggested that I try the Disney Society with her, considering our shared love of Disney. So I did, and never had I felt so much at ease that quickly surrounding new people; never had I felt so accepted for my nerdiness. Therefore, when the time came for Hustings, I wanted to join the exec so I could try and replicate what I found within the society for next year’s freshers looking for the same experience.
Ordinarily, a week after you’re elected, you’re looking forward to being able to start hosting events and learning how to run the society. Instead, we were having to figure out how to handle the news that teaching was moving online. I was in a film workshop, messaging the old and new execs working out what to do instead of listening. Originally, I naively thought that online teaching wouldn’t last long, but soon I was proven to be very mistaken and we’ve had to run the whole society online for the last six months. We coped just like everyone else did, through online meetings and socials, but there was always a concern that interest in the society would dwindle over lockdown, so we’ve constantly been trying to think of new forms of publicity.
Whilst I would love to say exactly how the year is going to unfurl, I can’t, and for me, that’s terrifying. With so much uncertainty at the moment, it’s difficult for us to create a definitive plan. And when we plan, there’s always the concern that the continued restrictions will force us to change our plans again. Furthermore, with the majority of the society’s activities probably happening online, for now, there’s still the worry that people won’t join the society and won’t come to our socials; we fear our efforts of publicity and planning may be in vain.
That being said, we’ve found ways to work around current restrictions and have planned several exciting socials for next term. As well as running the socials we’ve loved in the past with a socially distanced twist, including movie nights, quizzes and outdoor scavenger hunts, we’ve also planned competitions, where members can submit Disney themed arts, crafts, and bakes to us for them to be showcased online and give them the chance to win exciting prizes. Also, our work has doubled as we’ve got more amazing socials on standby in case restrictions are lifted so that we’re able to host them. We’ve worked hard to ensure that the atmosphere that we pride ourselves on can continue in these uncertain times.
The Disney Society is a small but welcoming community allowing students to socialise with fellow Disney, Star Wars, or Marvel fans. Students who join the society can find a place where they can be themselves and geek out over anything even remotely Disney related with absolutely zero judgement, and in the meantime, maybe they’ll meet some of their best friends at university. So, if any of what I’ve said interests you, please come and join our family!