Alongside my degree I like to get involved in lots of societies. Some are medicine-related and some aren’t, but it’s well known that joining a society is the quickest and easiest way to make like-minded friends while having lots of fun… I highly recommend it!
Firstly, I play the bassoon (which is a woodwind instrument if you’ve never heard of it!) so when I came to Cardiff finding an orchestra to play in was top of my to-do list. The music department here is fantastic and the orchestras, choirs and bands are open to audition to any student at the university…
In my second year I got the opportunity to play in some amazing concerts at St David’s Hall and the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay! If you’re hoping to study a healthcare course though and want something a bit more relaxed, there is a Healthcare Music Society who have a non-auditioned orchestra and choir.
The other societies I’m involved in are more medicine-related. I joined StreetDoctors last year, which is a national charity with teams in universities all across the UK. We work to prevent youth violence by teaching basic first aid to young people who are at risk of seeing violent crime; the Cardiff uni branch has taken off to a flying start after just one year! It can sometimes be a challenge to hold the attention of 20 young people for an hour, but I’ve found that I really enjoy teaching and it has definitely helped my confidence with speaking to people.
This year I have also applied to become a Medic First Responder with the Welsh Ambulance Trust, as I wanted to put some of my first-aid skills into practise… I have absolutely no idea what to expect as I’m going to be a new recruit, so I will be giving updates on that adventure as I have them! They say you should regularly do things out of your comfort zone, right?!
The final two societies I’m involved in are MedSoc and CUOS. MedSoc is medicine’s subject-society – every subject has one! Membership gives you discounts on the swanky balls (my first one was at the Principality Stadium), gym memberships and lots of local businesses, as well as free entry to revision sessions that are put on in exam season. CUOS stands for Cardiff University Oncology Society – there are societies for all the major medicine specialities such as cardiology, paediatrics and emergency medicine. These provide a way for students to find out what it’s like to work in a particular field and they often have guest speakers.
In a nutshell though, whatever your interest, be it sporty, religious, creative, or just plain bonkers, there will be a society for you and other equally-minded people! If you fancy having a look at what there is to offer, go to this page on the student union website: https://www.cardiffstudents.com/activities/societies/