By Anniken S. Jensen, BSc Psychology student
I returned to Liverpool from Norway in September 2015, ready to embark on my second year of study. In my first year, my focus was on settling in and getting used to life in England, but for my second year, I wanted to do more with my time and engage in more activities. I applied for a part-time job, I got a place on a psychological research internship, I volunteered myself as a course representative, and I joined the Liverpool University Mountaineering Club (LUMC).
As an international student, I want to travel and explore the UK whilst I have the chance to, and make new friends in the process. I already knew a few people in the mountaineering club, so I was aware of the fun and friendly atmosphere of the club, and their cheap day and weekend trips to the mountains of Wales and the Lake District is what sold me on getting a membership. Now, five months later, I can truthfully say that joining the LUMC is the best thing I have done since starting university.
Not only have I seen parts of the UK that I wouldn’t have had the chance to visit otherwise, I have also learnt to climb, scramble, to read a map and to use a compass. I have made a bunch of new friends from all over the world, I have dressed up as a circus animal for a night out, I have (not so) successfully completed my first pub-golf, I have learnt to tolerate all kinds of awful weather, and the list goes on. Hill-walking turned out to be much more physically challenging than I expected, but also much more rewarding. After hours of hard work, reaching the summit of a mountain is one of the most satisfying feelings I have ever experienced.
My favourite memory from my first semester with the LUMC is from a weekend trip to Coniston in the Lake District, on the 11th to 13th December 2015 (image left). We got lucky with the weather, and had a weekend of snow. Because of this, we had to learn how to walk with ice axes, and we got to practise techniques to navigate in a white-out, something which I had never done before. Luckily, there was no white-out, so we didn’t actually need these skills, but they are good to know nonetheless, and might of course be useful in the future. For one of the members, this trip was their first ever encounter with snow. I, being Norwegian, grew up playing in the snow every winter, and really enjoyed a chance to have a snowball fight so far from home.
The first semester of my second year at the University of Liverpool is by far the semester I have enjoyed the most, thanks to my job, my internship, my course mates, and, as you probably gathered from reading this, thanks to the LUMC. I am looking forward to what the next semester will bring, and I am confident that it will be at least as good as the first.”