Societies and Extra Curricular Activities

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At the University of Birmingham, there is a broad range of societies and activities to take part in. These range from the traditional to ones you wouldn’t even think of. There are 55 sports clubs that compete at BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) and the Guild boasts over 300 societies to choose from. And if you can’t find something for you, then all you need is you and ten other people to create a society yourself.

Personally, I am a member of the University’s swimming club. Members of the club can train between 1 and 10 times a week, depending on squad and ability. As a part of the development squad, I can swim 4 times a week as well as attend spinning, circuits, yoga and triage. Being a member of the development squad means that you can fit in exercise around a busy timetable that you may find you have by doing a STEM subject. Engineering has quite a few contact hours, especially in comparison to some other subjects, but it’s quite easy to fit in swimming around this. The swimming club makes sure that the sessions are outside of lecture times so that people can attend. And if you can’t make a session, the coaches are understanding as they know what it’s like to have a lot of work to do.

university sports centre
Photo: University Sports Centre

In addition to swimming, I have a gym membership at the University’s satellite gym in Selly Oak. It’s brand new with lots of equipment to use. It’s useful to have the gym membership as it means I have another place to exercise if I feel like I haven’t done enough exercise in the week. It can also be a social activity and something that you can do with your friends.

I am also a member of the University’s Vegan and Vegetarian Society. This basically involves doing activities that involve eating (good) vegan/vegetarian food and hanging out with other people who enjoy doing this. There’s a good chance that you’ll be able to make friends who have a similar interest to you, and you can share recipes/ ideas with each other if you need a bit of inspiration in your cooking. I have made some close friends through Vegsoc (as it is known for short) and do enjoy going when I can. Again, there is no pressure to be at every single meeting, but the people are lovely.

The Guild
Photo: The Guild

I would really recommend joining at least one club or society, especially during your first year of university as it gives you the opportunity to make new friends outside of your course or flat and you’ll have more time to do this then rather than later on. There are so many cool people at university and it’s not possible to meet them all – but you might as well try, which you can do by taking part in as many activities as possible!