Spending time with heaps of students who share the same passions as you is a total dream. As a student you get endless opportunities to do just that! I’ve been able to travel to London with Amnesty International, to Glasgow with Sexpression, and spend a day at TEDx. Each one was rewarding and exciting so I’m going to show you how worthwhile getting involved is!
Amnesty International Student Conference
Last semester I headed down to London on the Megabus to spend a weekend celebrating student activism. Across the weekend we had workshops, speakers, film screenings, and amazing food. I learned so much about human rights, activism, and what Amnesty does for our world. It was an amazing bonding experience with my Amnesty friends who shared the same loves and interests as I do. It brought me closer to people in Edinburgh and helped me connect with amazing people from all over the UK.
One of the highlights of the conference (besides a fun night at the hostel pub with my mates) was meeting Mike Jackson. If you’ve seen the movie ‘Pride’ you may know him as the guy with the beanie. He is an campaigner for LGBT rights, and I was so lucky to speak with him. Few of the role models I’ve had the chance to meet in my life have been so engaging to talk to.
Sexpression Scottish Conference
More recently I took a trip to Glasgow to go to the Scottish Sexpression conference. Sexpression is a student organization which promotes inclusive sex and relationship education, as well as supporting a range of causes such as women’s rights, LGBT rights and more. Some of the absolute best people I’ve met at the university are part of this fantastic group.
The conference included some of the best speakers I’ve ever had the chance to listen to. I’d particularly like to highlight Mary Smith, Mary Hepburn, and Mridul Wadhwa, who really moved me and inspired me with their words. It was such an inclusive and supportive group of people, and I felt incredibly lucky to share a weekend with them.
The TEDx event was held over a day during the festival of creative learning. The theme was ‘It starts with a passion’. The speakers on the day were inspirational. It was a great opportunity for those of us who also had passions to share to spend time together and connect. Over the lunch break I had the opportunity to eat some crickets and mealworms. For some reason, I thought it was a good idea to take this opportunity. They also had a make-up and special effects booth, a virtual reality booth, and a lot of free smoothies. It was a fun day that sparked my curiosity about so many new areas.
All of these conferences have been amazing and they have encouraged my imagination, passions, curiosity, and connections with others. These amazing events and the fantastic people at them have made my year.
Look out for events that your societies or schools might have on throughout the year and don’t miss out!