This is turning into a proper university blog instead of a book blog. At least I’m studying English Literature, so it’s still kind of bookish … right?
Today I want to share some really amazing events I’ve been to since coming to UEA – because they’re just worth sharing! Not all of these were technically university events, but they were all kind of aimed at students and attended by lots of people from my uni, so I’m counting them. I hope you find them interesting and maybe feel inspired to look for similar things happening in your area.
- Societies fayre | September 27
This is an event that I think most universities organise at the beginning of the year. It’s basically an exhibition of all the societies the university has to offer. The presidents and older members of all the societies gather in a big hall (in my case the event was held in our Sportspark) and give out flyers with information about the societies, and sometimes you can even grab a goody bag! It’s all very busy, colourful, and exciting. I joined my first three societies that day because even though I was not entirely convinced about joining them, the people were welcoming, kind, and eager to answer any questions.
- Rollerblading at Funky’s | October 2
This event was aimed specifically at international and EU students, and it was incredible. Basically a bunch of international peeps signed up for it, we were all picked up by taxis on campus, and everything was completely free, including the ride back to uni afterwards! If you like rollerblading, or you think you might like it, and you happen to be around Norwich, I definitely recommend checking out Funky’s. I’ve been twice since that first event, and I always love it. They play fun 2000s music (think Low by Flo Rida and that kind of crap that you can only enjoy if you’re on skates) and sometimes they do odd activities in between the normal rollerblading, like dancing on skates and stuff. Seriously, TRY IT.
- Sink the Pink | October 14
This is the gayest thing I’ve ever been to, and I’ve been to Pride. Sink the Pink are a group of drag queens who put on gigs around the UK; they lip-sync, they dance, and all-around put on an amazing show. I’m not usually a fan of clubbing, but I went with a friend and had a lot of fun! The reason why I’m including this in the university events is that the gig took place in our campus club, the LCR, and most of the people there were fellow students.
- US election breakfast | November 8-9
This was an event organised by my university for students to watch the US presidential election live. We were a huge group at first, all gathered in the bar around a big screen, but then eventually people started to leave (if you recall, the results took ages to get it, and, well, students have other things to do). A friend and I stayed in the bar until sunrise, when they finally announced who would be the new president (booo), and then we slept for like a year. It wasn’t a happy event exactly, but it was interesting, and we were so tired after a while that everything was funny.
- Battle of the Bands | November 11
I don’t usually like gigs very much, they’re too loud and most of the time you can’t even hear the music properly. But I went to this event in particular because one of my flatmates is in a band (they’re called Saltfen and they’re great!), and they were competing that day. They actually won the Battle, which made me very happy, so even though the gig in itself wasn’t my kind of thing, it was a good day!
- The politics of trans history | November 14
This was a very casual, low-key discussion group about transgender rights and politics that I went to with one of my flatmates, who happens to be trans. It was really interesting, and the discussion leaders brought up a lot of good points. I didn’t really participate in the discussion (as a cis girl I was just there to listen and learn), but I enjoyed following the debate and listening to different points of view. Something that I think is quite important that they talked about is the way society doesn’t accept trans people who don’t present conforming to their gender’s stereotypes. My flatmate, for example, presents in a very “feminine” way despite being a trans guy, he loves make-up and buys clothes from the women’s section. It’s important for us to remember that all trans people are valid, no matter how they choose to express their gender identity.
- Norwich city lights | November 17
This wasn’t exactly an event. Norwich switched on the Christmas lights around the city and introduced the light tunnel (which looked amazing), and some friends and I decided to check it out. Like I said, it was just lights, so nothing really happened, but it was certainly pretty!
Look at it!!! So pretty.
- Trampolining social at Gravity | November 18
I’m just realising how much stuff I did in November haha! This was a social event for members of UEA’s gymnastics club, but only two of us actually went – which was sad and hilarious at the same time. Gravity is an amazing trampolining park in the UK; the entire floor is covered in small and big trampolines, there’s basket ball hoops, and even trampolines on the walls! I had a lot of fun, and I think in the end I liked that not that many people from the gymnastics club were there, ’cause I quite like having fun on my own sometimes.
- Christmas dinner for Erasmus students | December 1
I’m not personally an exchange student, I’m doing a full 3-year course in England, but my two favourite flatmates were just here for three months. I’m still really sad that they’re both gone now, but this “dinner” (more like a chatty bar hangout) was a nice way of saying goodbye, and I even got to meet some new people (who then left as well ’cause life is not fair). They also gave us free mince pies, which I discovered aren’t terrible but also definitely not my favourite food.
- Pillow Poetry | December 12
Apart from the fact that this took place on my birthday and I would have rather attended it on a different day, this was an amazing event. One of my flatmates organised it with a friend of hers, and it was basically a poetry reading session with blankets and pillows. The price to attend was £3 and £2 for performers, with everything going to the aid of refugees. I am really blown away by how such a young person, someone my age, living in my flat, could have organised something like that with just a friend of hers.
- Masculinity and gender discussion | January 24
As you can see by the date, this was literally yesterday. A friend of mine saw the event on Facebook and prompted me to go with her, and of course I said yes – I can’t resist a good gender discussion. It turned out to be a very small group of people, which made the whole thing more personal and kind of cute. The discussion was led by three girls from the feminist society, one non-binary person, and an older trans woman who sometimes lectures at my university. They were all amazing and brought up really interesting points. I also loved that it wasn’t just your typical cis-het women talking about feminism, but there was some intersectionality going on. They also announced that their next discussion will be on the feminist anti-rape movement in India, and my friend and I have already marked it in our planners – I will definitely report back on that one, it sounds incredibly interesting!
I hope you guys enjoyed reading this and that you will be able to find some similar events close to you! I’m planning to review events separately from now on, so I can talk about everything in more detail (as we all know, I love talking a lot), and you won’t have to scroll through a list of unrelated events to find something you’re interested in.
‘Till next time and happy reading!