Pretty much every University in the country has a Fresher’s Fair. It’s a way for you – the freshers – to find out what awesome opportunities are available for you at your new university. Bangor runs Serendipity on Wednesday and Thursday of Welcome Week, which fall on the 21st and 22nd this year, between 10am-5pm. Set up throughout the Main Arts building are hundreds of stalls, covering a range of activities from Rugby to Creative Writing to Environmental Protection. Bangor is one of the few UK universities where it is free for students to join any society that the uni runs – meaning you can join anything you want, with no charge.
And there are opportunities for everyone. If you’re into Dance, you can take classes in jazz, tap, ballet, street, contemporary, ballroom, Irish and burlesque, with opportunities to compete, perform and travel to Edinburgh. Bangor’s Cheerleaders compete three times a year, with classes of different skill levels offered in co-ed classes. Of course, we can’t forget about Quidditch – which, for all the jokes about it, is a serious sport at Bangor. If you’re prepared to train hard, go out for the team – and if you just want to meet some new people and have some fun, go and play anyway.
If you’re looking for something creative, there are plenty of opportunities for you. Bangor’s Drama societies – BEDS, SODA and ROSTRA – have casting calls out this term for Romeo and Juliet, A Streetcar Named Desire and An Inspector Calls. If acting isn’t your thing, BASS – Bangor Arts Society – meets once a week in Pontio to do a range of activities, from sketching and painting to still life and collaborative art. There’s also BRAMAS – Bangor Rock and Metal Appreciation Society – which isn’t about geology and is, instead, a group that enjoys rock and metal music. They’re doing Hammerfest this year, as well as weekly pub meet ups.
Societies are your best bet to meet new people. Bangor University Tea- Time Society (BUTTS) is new this year, offering weekly meet ups to drink tea (or, in Welsh, have a panad) and relax mid-week. Or try Bangor Wargaming and Role-Playing Society, which is dedicated to table-top games such as Magic the Gathering. If you’re into gardening, Bangor has a university farm which our Farm Soc tends to. There’s also our Feminist Society, welcoming all gender identities, where you can meet like-minded people and discuss issues over pizza.
Whatever your interests, there’s a society for you – and if there isn’t already, you’re welcome to start one! But with all this choice, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Here are some important things for you to remember while you’re navigating your first Serendipity.
- Everyone signs up for about a hundred different societies. You’ll be inundated with emails and Facebook notifications and, once you finally get round to sorting out the flyers you picked up, you’ll realise that you don’t want to go to ninety-five of the societies you signed up for. This is normal – don’t feel bad!
- Fresher’s week is for you to try things out. If you sign up for Pole Dancing, attend the taster and realise it’s not for you? No biggie. Try new things to find the ones you enjoy.
- You’ll go to Serendipity before you get to know people on your course, so you’ll end up going with people you’ve met in halls. It’s pretty normal to sign up for things with near-strangers and then end up falling out with them. It might be awkward, but you can still go and do things you enjoy! Lots of societies have different meetings, and most of them are big enough that you can work round any clashes of personality.
- There are lots of freebies. Almost every stall offers sweets (yay!) but a lot of stalls have pens, notebooks and stickers. Make sure to find one of the Breast Cancer stickers – having a hand-print on your boob is a great conversation starter.
- The Domino’s man will be there. Get leaflets from him. These will save your life. Trust me.
Ultimately, Serendipity is huge, busy and sometimes overwhelming, but it’s fun too. You get to try new things and you’re all thrown into it together. Forget New York, Serendipity is the real melting pot. Just remember: Serendipity runs in January too. so there’s always a second chance.