Firstly, I’d like to start by clearing up a common misconception – yes, medics do have time to socialise and get involved in societies! Although our timetables can get hectic at times, every Wednesday afternoon is free in Year 1 – 3, with society events on weeknights. It is so important for your work-life balance to be able to switch off and have fun, particularly as a fresher. However, as you get older, it’s a great opportunity to get involved in a committee to build some skills – which you can show on your CV as well!
I deliberately chose societies which were not for medics only so that I could meet people from other non-healthcare related courses. This has been so beneficial to have a variety of friends to simply hang out with and do activities together!
One of my greatest loves is music, it was such a relief that I was able to continue my violin playing at uni. I find it so relaxing and I have enjoyed the opportunity to be part of music ensembles -the chamber orchestra being my favourite. It brings a different sort of challenge to keep my brain stimulated and opportunities to perform throughout the year, which is so satisfying to see how our hard work has paid off.
The African Caribbean Society has been an essential part to my life – it has allowed me to be more in touch with my heritage. We have great socials and activities and in second year, I was one of the welfare officers. This was a great way to support freshers and check in on their wellbeing as well! Similarly, the African Caribbean Medical Association, with there being not many black medics, it has been so important to support each other in our studying but also to get involved in outreach to increase the representation of African Caribbean students in medical school.
Being part of the Christian Union and Christian Medical Fellowship has been another great way to meet people. There’s also a few more that I have got involved in which goes to show that if you are great with time management – you can work hard, play hard!