You may know the Oxford Union as the largest society at the University of Oxford, a debating society visited by some of the world's most high-profile individuals, or as a place of free speech - all of which are true. These are the reasons why I implore you to make the most of your time at the University of Oxford (and thereafter) and become a member!
Participation at the Union can vary from as much as vocalising your opinion and challenging guest speakers to as little as 'voting with your feet', signifying by which door you leave the debate hall from which side of the debate you support. Thus far, I have only committed to the latter, but already I have gleaned so much from my membership, having gone to hear the ex-President of Finland speak on sustainability and a science vs. religion debate.
So, my membership has allowed me - and I hope will continue to allow me - to delve beyond my subject and expose me to knowledge and ideas I would have not otherwise encountered. The Union really offers something for everyone, especially with many of its speakers being 'famous'. This term alone such speakers include Jude Law, Russell Brand, Alexa Chung and Littlemix. Other perks to Union membership include use of its facilities, like its library and bar, and a number of social events.
What might deter people from joining the Union is likely to be the cost of membership. However, something I have benefitted from is the access life membership, reducing the cost of membership for those who meet the financial criteria for eligibility. Even so, membership is expensive - yet I would highly recommend it as an investment. After all, membership does last a lifetime.