I joined book society during freshers week of my first year and I love it. A book is selected for that month by voting from a group of five and we can discuss it at the meeting a few weeks later. I love to read so this is the first society that jumped out at me. Growing up, my Dad took me and my siblings to the library on the weekends and I would bring an empty bag for the books I would borrow. I still remember back when heelys were a thing I would skate around the long corridors to find books I had not read yet. I like fantasy, action, adventure, romance, science fiction. I fell in love with reading but it’s something I have not done a lot of lately even though we have been stuck inside.
Some of my favourite books from book society are Han Kang’s Human Acts, Herman Hesse’s Narcissus and Goldmund, Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness. Right now I’m reading Calvino’s If On a Winter’s Night a Traveller and re-reading Murakami’s Men Without Women. The first I didn’t read when it was the book of the month and the second, I picked up at Daunt Books (a bookstore I recommended in my last blog post!) I’m also currently eagerly awaiting for my pre-ordered copy of Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse to arrive. I bought it on Book Depository which is amazing for finding books on discount and they have free delivery worldwide year-round, I even bought my brother some graphic novels from there for Christmas.
Being at home for this Christmas holiday season has me exploring hobbies I have pushed aside for a few weeks. I set my Goodreads goal to 12, even though I used to run through books so quickly. I did not join a whole lot of societies other than book and a couple more because I was too nervous about meeting new people even though everyone else is in the same boat. Looking back I regret that because I’m missing that sense of community where everyone has something in common. There are over 350 clubs and societies at Imperial and new ones are being created all the time by students. I have been to Muslim Medics events and tutorials which are very helpful for covering content and just feeling less stressed about not understanding everything first go, and they have amazing tutors that you can ask questions to.
This year, I am trying to make a point of settling back into things I used to enjoy and maybe even exploring some new things. Granted a lot of events will be run online but I’m sure I will find something.
I was always interested in learning sign language because I feel very passionate about accessibility and it would really change the way I communicate when I cannot use words. Previously, I took sign language classes through the Horizons program and even though this year I am taking French I am still interested in pursuing it outside of classes. This is definitely one of the societies I’m very passionate about. Apart from sign language, I like languages in general (I was convinced I wanted to study a foreign language or become a linguist at university during high school), I got my GCSE in French and I would like to study Tigrinya which is a language spoken primarily in Eritrea and Ethiopia and by the worldwide diaspora. It springs from an ancient Semitic language in the Ge’ez script, which really resonates with me.
I also wanted to explore my medical interests through societies like surgical society and acute medicine. After graduating, I would like to know what direction my career is heading in. I know I have a few years left to think about it. I was thinking about Writer’s society because I like to write creatively. My Dad taught me chess growing up so I would like to play with someone, I bake a little, the results are ugly but tasty. I was interested in astronomy too. When I was young, I wanted to study space and planets and my big Year 5 project was on that, it was the longest presentation I had ever put together.
Hopefully, you are able to do things you enjoy and maybe find something new you like in 2021?