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Uni Life beyond Medicine?

A current Phase 3b student, our blogger Katie breaks down seven avenues that explore a worthwhile university life beyond the medical textbook.

By Katie Newton

Whether you’ve found yourself swamped with anatomy/physiology in Phase 1 or you’ve got a consultant breathing down your neck in Phase 3a, it’s important to remember that there’s more to University Life than pursuing your medical studies.


Cliché, I know – but having a healthy work-life balance benefits both your mental health and your soft skills development. Here’s seven things to do outside Medicine!


1. MedSoc Sub-Societies!
With over forty MedSoc Sub-societies there’s something for everyone – be it specialty interests, sports, volunteering or creative arts! Typically, MedSoc sub-societies have meetings/trainings that accommodate medics’ hectic schedules; for example, sports teams train on weekends rather than mid-week when clinical years’ students are on placements.


2. SU Societies
MedSoc sub-societies aside, there’s over 350 societies with the Students Union! Consider lower-commitment or special interest groups in the SU; there’s a much wider range of special interest groups than we provide.

…having a healthy work-life balance benefits both your mental health and your soft skills development.

3. Give It A Go

SU societies run regular “Give It A Go” (GIAG) events throughout the year that provide a free/affordable taste of their society – a great way to get exploring! The Union’s own GIAG’s provide lots of lesser-known but useful courses, particularly foreign language courses. These last a few weeks but are really affordable – well worth having a look if you’ve always dreamed of learning Russian! The Union’s GIAG also conduct day trips throughout the UK to explore different cities or visit theme parks. Day trips can be very affordable thanks to the SU’s Residence Life discounts, so this is a good deal for students in halls!


4. Sports

Phases 1 and 2a are a good time to get involved with Sport Sheffield sports clubs, especially since curriculum timetables guarantee Wednesdays off to participate in training/matches. The Union supports 58 sports clubs, so there’s certainly something for everyone! Most clubs communicate through Facebook, so don’t be afraid to drop them a message. Clubs often provide free Give-it-a-Go sessions for students to try out before committing to a membership.


5. Volunteering

Volunteering is a great way to break out of the student bubble and feel more connected to the Steel City. Alongside the numerous Medsoc Sub-Socs that volunteer throughout the year, the SU’s Sheffield Volunteering provides a gateway to help you find a suitable beneficiary. Sheffield Volunteering operates a searchable online database which matches you to suitable opportunities. Time commitments range from one-off (e.g. bucket shaking at the Sheffield Half Marathon) to monthly and weekly (e.g. helping at a Homework Club).


6. RAG and Bummit

You’re missing out if you’ve never heard of Bummit The world’s largest student-run charity hitchike runs annually in summer. You and your group of mates raise money for charity before hitchhiking your way to a mystery European city. Expect to depart Sheffield with nothing but a rucksack and a giant cardboard sign, and travel to your destination via specific stops over 9 days. Fancy a more manageable taster before the main event? There’s also the Baby Bummit which visits a surprise UK location. 


Bummit is run a sub-committee of Sheffield RAG (Raising and Giving), a working committee at the SU focused on raising money for a number of great causes – there’s loads of ways you can get involved with them if your passion is in fundraising! 


7. Residence Life and Social Sport

Take full advantage of this if you live in University accommodation! Residence Life and Social Sport provides affordable opportunities to participate in weekly one-off activities and sports. Private accommodation students can still get involved in almost all of the sessions for a small fee. 


Drop our Societies Secretary an email at for any queries!