It all started with this picture, which I took on Sunday afternoon. The University of Exeter Student’s Instagram account, and I was going to have it for an entire week!

It was just like any other week at Exeter, wasn’t it? I have training every Monday with the Exeter Ultimate Frisbee team, URIEL. I got involved with URIEL from day one since it was an Exeter exchange student I met back home who told me all about this school and this club. He introduced me to the captains and although I had plenty of playing experience the British Ultimate scene still surprised me. It’s so windy, and wet, all the time.

In this video, we’re practicing zone defence which is quite commonplace in the windy conditions.

Rain Ultimate is also fun Ultimate. That zone training paid off as the men’s team managed a comfortable win against Swansea that week off that zone defense. Only now do I notice how wet our hair was, at the time we didn’t even notice.

As a Mechanical Engineering student I was delighted to see the student machine workshop for the first time. Unfortunately, I couldn’t use it. The technician I met managing the shop, Martin was super friendly and offered me a one-on-one induction the following day. I built my first machine part right after and began helping the Formula Student team here.

The Formula team will participate in Europe’s most established educational engineering competition – to design and build and entire car to showcase at the Silverstone circuit. Here’s a picture of last year’s car, undergoing some work – just wait till you see the one we’re building this year!

Our first week here as “freshers” was filled with taster sessions and countless activities to try as many clubs and societies as possible. I remember thinking “so, I’m going to play ultimate frisbee, I’m used to that. I’m in Exeter, far from home…what’s the farthest thing from my comfort zone?”

And so, every Tuesday since that week, I’ve been learning salsa. This last week, I competed in a salsa competition, oh my:

It helps that our teacher Angus is one of the funniest people I’ve met. The lessons have been fun and dancing is a surprisingly great way to make friends. Go figure. The lessons happen on campus, with classes for learning the basic step, for learning technique and for learning proper routines. We’ve also had workshops by Angus sprinkled in on other kinds of Salsa – like Rueda (group/circle salsa dancing) and Bachata (“romantic” salsa dancing).

This video starts with some footage of last week’s lesson, as well as us preparing a group routine for the competition in Birmingham. We got to perform and take part in workshops that day.

The week could seem a little hectic like any other. I will mention that it was a lighter week for coursework which made it perfect for taking on more extracurricular activities. One of my biggest fears before coming to Exeter was that I would have too little to do outside of class time. I couldn’t have been more wrong once I found out how easy it was to get involved!

The real problem, which quite a few students experience, is sticking with the clubs and societies once things really get busy. I feel like that’s a much better problem to have and still encourage you to get involved while committing to what brings you the most joy.