After settling down in Dundee, the first thing I was told to do was to make friends! “Go make friends!” they say, but little do they know that it’s one of the hardest thing ever! Studies have found out that people who feel they are lonely tend to only notice extroverted people who seem to have a better time than them. So, it is okay to feel lonely but do something about it! Don’t sit around and throw a pity party for yourself! Let’s see what we can do to help in this in Dundee!
Clubs and Societies
The first time you will ever get to see what university offers is during the Freshers Fair! The first event will be the sports fair, all of Dundee’s interesting sports clubs will be there. I signed up for about 5 taster sessions that day. Taster sessions are sessions in which you can try out the sport and see if it’s your thing! Most Importantly: Free Food every time! However, that’s not why you should go for them! I went for a couple of what I signed up for. The most fun I had was the time I went to amateur Boxing session. The instructor was giving us a briefing on what we have to do that session. He asked for a volunteer and like usual no one came forward, the instructor called me out and asked me to lie down. Out of nowhere, he throws a medicine ball at my stomach! Then says, “This is how you train your core”. (Really? That’s the only way??) It didn’t stop there, we were told to pair up and throw the medicine ball at each other’s stomach. Then went on to do circuit training and damn… was it tough! Never again!
That was just one of the many clubs this uni has got to offer, if nothing fits you, create your own- it’s that simple! Besides these university level clubs and societies, each school also offers its own sets of societies. For example, the two most popular societies in the Medical School are the Dundee University Surgical Society (DUSS) and Dundee Emergency and Critical Conditions Society (DECCS). They both allow for students to get to know each other and also aid them in learning about precision surgery methods, new technology in the world of surgery, what to do in an emergency situation and when someone is need of critical care. The best part of these societies is that they are cheap and so informative that it enables learning in a fun way!
The best way to know who is doing the same course as you is by attending school events. They range from educational and integration to social. I am gonna use the medical/life sciences school events as an example for the rest of this point. During fresher’s week, the first event we had was an integration event which allowed medical, dentistry and nursing school students to get to know and work together for the first time. We were given a scenario and were told to work together and try to find a solution to it. During this IPE session, we were presented with a scenario in which Dundee was struck with an earthquake and we were supposed to work together and come up with a solution to continue to support and treat patients in Ninewells Hospital (hypothetically).
As for social events, it can’t get better than school events. In the medical and dentistry school, it starts with shotomania (when you go from pub to pub to take shots). Then Gaudie night, it’s the time when the student’s medic/dentist parents will get their ‘child’ drunk…like really drunk! The parents dress their child up in a costume and I guess you can figure out what happens after that. Now that they are wasted, on Raisin Monday it’s the ‘child’s turn to get their ‘parents’ drunk. Though it may seem to be a bit too much drinking, trust me, it’s more than what you think! But it’s not about the drinking; it’s about the bonds that you foster during these events. Some bonds which will only get stronger and stronger over the next few years!
Week 2 reflections
Finding friends is always hard! Harder for some than others, but that does not mean it is impossible-the very fact that that the process is hard is what makes the bonds and friendship that we foster that much more special. It is important to get friends, not a lot but at least a small group to make sure someone is concerned about you and looks out for you. And as an international student, a group of friends is what really helped me deal with my homesickness. It always feels good to know there are people who support you and will always be there when you are feeling down. So go out, expose yourself and make friends; honestly, how hard can it be?