Written by Fola Pinheiro, Master of Laws

One of the main lessons I picked up from my undergrad was that a degree is more than the final grade you get; it is also the people you meet and the experiences you have. During my undergrad, I met some amazing people and had some great experiences but this always seemed secondary to academia and my grades. 

When I started my postgraduate at UCL, I wanted things to be different. I wanted to prioritise meeting interesting people and having great experiences. I didn't really know how to do this in a new environment with new people, but thought societies were the way to go? People do say that they've met some of their best friends from societies at university - perhaps the same can happen to me? The Welcome Fair was an obvious way for me to do this with a variety of societies and clubs for you to choose from. This year the Welcome Fair will be online, and you'll still be able to meet all the clubs and societies your heart desires! 

Before I got to the Welcome Fair, I shortlisted some of the societies I thought were interesting from the Union's website (such as the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Club, the Data Science Society, and, of course, the Broke Society). I thought this would help me to be in and out of the Fair relatively quickly. I couldn’t be more wrong — I was quickly signed up to more taster sessions than I could imagine, got caught up watching societies perform and grabbing free food. 

Despite the fact that I was unable to commit to the majority of societies that I wanted to commit to, those that I did take up were worthwhile. I was able to meet interesting people at socials, mixers, and various panel events. This year, clubs and societies will be online first. They’ll be doing everything they can to help you make the most of your time here. If you can’t take part in the in-person activity, you’ll be able to join clubs and societies for free with Remote Membership. If you are in London, the student groups will be running events and activities in line with Government guidance throughout Welcome week and term one. 

We’ll always be here for you

I realised that I had put too much pressure on myself to try everything and anything. Now that I am at the end of my course, one of the main lessons I have picked up along the way is to prioritise social experiences but not to put myself under an undue amount of pressure to do so. There is plenty to get up to in London; so relax and I hope you enjoy your time here as much as I did!