A bell ringing society? We got it! A Nandos society? It’s right here!
The University of Manchester has many winning factors. One of its biggest draws is the range of extracurricular activities on campus. University is not only about studying your subject, it is also a place where you can develop vital skills by partaking in extracurricular activities that interest you. The sum of your academic and extracurricular activities is what will shape your university life and prepare you for the big outside world.
The Student Union houses over 480 clubs and societies; there are societies that relate to dancing, baking, social causes, societies for different countries and different degree courses and absolutely anything else you can think of. A bell ringing society? We got it! A Nandos society? It’s right here! There is no limit to the hobbies and activities you could join. If you can’t find the society you want, you can get a group of people together and register your own. A friend of mine realised that there was no outlet for Potterheads (i.e. Harry Potter enthusiasts) and thus founded the University’s very first Harry Potter society that now hosts Potter-themed pub quizzes and organises Quidditch matches! In addition to the societies, the Students’ Union also provides pastoral care and the Nightline service, which is run by students for students. These services can be used by anyone who is feeling overwhelmed with life or their studies and needs advice or help.
The Students’ Union is also home to the University’s media outlets, which provide opportunities to those wishing to gain broadcasting experience. You can learn how to film, present and edit footage and audio with FuseTV or even DJ your own show on FuseFM . The University of Manchester also has the country’s largest student-based newspaper, The Mancunion, for which I have proudly written. I love to write and express my opinion on the things I’m passionate about. I found it very easy to get involved – you just have to show up to one of their meetings and depending on which section you want to write for, simply volunteer to write one of their articles or suggest one of your own. The Mancunion provided the opportunity to both practice my skills and have my work published.
The University of Manchester also has a wide range of options for the fitness nut in you, or for those who are looking to start living a healthier lifestyle, like myself. For a while, I had been meaning to pick up a martial art so I finally took the leap and began training with the University’s kick-boxing club. It was not only offered to me at a low rate but I also got to train with fellow students who were just starting out. If kick-boxing isn’t your thing, there are dozens of other sports clubs to choose from that not only improve your mental and physical health but also help you make friends. Some clubs even organise exciting tournaments and trips. If you prefer to exercise by yourself, you can join one of the three gyms that have reduced rates for University of Manchester students – Sugden Sport Centre and Aquatics Centre (near the university) and Armitage Sport Centre (near the main Halls of Residence).
At university you can also develop your skills through volunteering – giving back to the local community and society is important and fulfilling. You can register with the volunteering hub and sign up to one or more of the programmes they run to help others.
Whatever your interests, I believe it’s important to keep them up at university and try new things: you never know what might stick or who you might meet.