In this Society Spotlight, former Student Union President Rahul Mathasing explains the important role Stage Society has played in his time at Loughborough.
What on earth is going on? What do I do now? How do I fill my ‘free time’? There’s so much, how do I choose?
All valid questions, all more than likely asked by ninety per cent of students immediately after Freshers is done. With so much going on in the first few weeks – introductions, bazaars, and more introductions (seriously, there’s so many intros to things it’s almost silly), it’s all too easy to get lost in the whirlwind of starting at University.
The answer…? Well in all honesty, I’m not entirely sure. However, getting involved with a club, society, or general section is a pretty good start!
For me, this started with a Society (Stage Society, to be exact) and evolved into involvement across most of the Union and University. This was something that helped me a lot when the struggles became very real, very quickly. Joining a club or society not only helps you branch out of the groups you’re “saddled” with and explore different interests, or perhaps continue a hobby – it also provides the opportunity to meet all sorts of fantastic people!
Stage Society is an incredibly sociable and inclusive group; for someone whom once struggled to make new friends, and at a particularly hard time, a society like that can be invaluable. Finding people who share the same interests or hobbies (and in rare cases, life-ambitions) really can give you friends for life. Alongside the obvious academic qualifications, making those long-lasting connections is kind of a focal point of University life, right?
Whilst I was on Leave of Absence in the second year of my Systems Engineering BEng, Stage Society was a no-brainer for me; I needed to do something grounding, fulfilling, and – most importantly – something I enjoyed. I’d always loved theatre, both performing and backstage, so I haven’t looked back since I first joined six years ago. Whether it was doing some simple sound engineering, rigging lights, or being in my first ever musical – Footloose, y’all – Stage really provided a home for me at Loughborough and allowed me to put my own struggles into perspective, as well as giving me a fabulous support network.
With typically two plays and a musical every semester, alongside a showcase and numerous fun-filled social occasions, Stage Society was the perfect place for a lost soul to find solace. It didn’t take long for me to find my feet after that. The people at StageSoc helped me become the person I am today, not to mention the wonders the society can do for your public speaking game; the first gig I ever got for LSU Media was only due to the-then Station Manager seeing me in a play!
So if you’re finding yourself a little lost, remember not to overlook those hobbies you had as a kid that you haven’t thought about for years. Don’t underestimate the power of just enjoying yourself from time to time. With 59 AU clubs, and near enough 120 different societies, those Bazaars weren’t just for show! There’s an abundance of things to be doing at Loughborough; to fill some time, have a laugh, and maybe make a friend or two for life.
10/10 would recommend.