Guest blogger Produced by

This is a guest blog by Sirin Arif, who is studying BSc (Hons) Design Engineering.

I always wanted to get involved in extracurriculars and I always did. I felt like I needed to develop myself as a person all the time. Whenever I had the chance, I got involved with volunteering and events. You know that one person in the class that offered whenever the teacher asked ‘’if anyone would be interested to help’’ with a random cake sale? – yeah, that would be me! When I became a BU student, I wanted to be involved but all I thought I could get involved with was becoming part of club or society.

During PAL week, my course leader asked if anyone wanted to be a ‘student rep’. I offered as it sounded like a role I would like. After my role was confirmed I had my training and got my hoodie! Being a student rep was a great opportunity to make sure all my colleagues are happy with the course and fortnightly I would go to a meeting and report any feedback from students. Being a student rep in first year has really made me feel part of the BU community as a whole and I was lucky to have such wonderful course mates who would always be happy to give me ideas and feedback which I can take further to meetings and SUBU.

I really tried to enjoy student life, and I thought being a student rep was enough to get involved with, but second semester brought be with a surprise. Turns out the Design and Engineering department had a new society: Women in Engineering Society (WES); and as I am a female studying an engineering course, I had to be part of it. A few months after, the society was doing well and we had our own community, it was so much fun sharing similar experiences with the girls. The committee members at the time were all going on placement, so they had to look for new committees for next year and that is how I become the event organiser for WES.

First year has passed and lockdown has happened. All my summer plans were ruined, and I felt like I am not doing anything with my life so for second year I applied to be a student rep again, but it felt like I needed to do more so I applied to become a department rep too. All my colleagues were happy with my work from last year so continuing was great knowing I can help. As an event organiser for WES, I thought I could organise some really cool events outdoors but because of the restrictions everything moved online. However, this this has not stopped the society from having fun. It was a struggle at the beginning but there is always a way to go forward.

I learnt that if I show my passion and become committed to my responsibilities, more opportunities will come my way. So here I am with a part-time job as a student and course ambassador taking part in events such as Open Days and writing fun blogs, whilst living the student life, having fun with friends, learning over Zoom, and of course paying bills.

There are so many ways of getting involved whether you want be part of a community or volunteer to take part in a beach clean-up, they are all fun ways of meeting new people and explore new hobbies.

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