Find your niche, even if you don’t party

Like many students coming to university the first time I was quite apprehensive about leaving my high school friends behind. Never having moved school in my life, it was the first time I would be somewhere where I knew nobody.

I need not have worried. The first day I arrive in my kitchen and right there, everyone’s playing cards against humanity. Perfect, it’s a social game, I know the rules and the awkward “Hi what’s your name? What do you study?” conversation starter will be much easier once we’ve all laughed at some inappropriate jokes.

Looking back at the last week, I’ve massively appreciated the hall events I’ve attended. Even as as teetotal who hasn’t got the sleep schedule for parties, partaking in bowling, the welcome breakfast, curry night and a massively under attended sports day have all been tremendous fun. Consequently, I’ve made friends, many of whom I see daily in our kitchen and who are a much needed source of advise on living and shopping in the UK.

Nevertheless, most enjoyable have been the sport taster sessions. Trying volleyball has long been something I wanted to do and despite being very busy, the taster was a lot of fun. Out of curiosity I also attended the taster for Taekwondo, which was one of the most exhausting workouts I’ve ever had. I have never had to lift my foot to chest height so many times in an hour. I also enjoyed the very personal nature of Taekwondo, where awareness of one’s training partner is simultaneously a source of feedback, learning example and necessity for safety.

In both of these activities I greatly appreciated the quality of instruction provided, with specific and varied drills while including plenty of fun activities, such as the skirmishing at the start of Taekwondo practice and the serving games in volleyball.

Of course, there are also the vocational and social societies.

As an introduction the robotics society ran a simple challenge: controlling a motorised vehicle using only bits of string taped to the ground in the starting zone, in order to bring a hockey puck a close as possible to a designated target.

It was interesting see how while most of the other teams just tried to hold the robot down with strings, the most successful strategies were our group instead using the string to pull out the power once the target was reached and the winners, who used the string to pull the puck off the back of the cart. It was cool to see how key a single design decision was a key deciding factor, as well as how creative some of the teams ended up being with their robot designs.

Whatever your interests are, when you come to imperial there are a huge variety of societies and activities to get involved with. Even if you aren’t someone who likes nights out and clubs there is more to get involved with than you will ever manage to find time for.

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