Every year in February. One week of no lectures and seminars. The week when students either scramble home, or catch up with long-due essays and revisions. Some call it Reading Week, others know it is Do Something Different (DSD) week, but not all are aware of what it really is. So what is DSD Week, and how can you make the most out of it?

DSD Week is the culmination of the year-round DSD programme run by the Students’ Union, designed to enhance our university experience by running various events on and off campus. This year, the festival will take place from February 17 – 23, when the university will run no structured teaching. It is loaded with opportunities to step out of your comfort zone and try all sorts of different things. Most of the activities are free, while bigger events and trips are heavily subsidised.

Some events held in previous years included leadership workshops, social media classes, free tours of Norwich castle, and even a Harry Potter Studio tour in London. There were a range of skill-based classes where you could learn new skills like animation, making stained glass, martial arts, and even battleground archery. All the options can be overwhelming, or you might be tempted to sleep in all week and do nothing, but it is important to use the opportunities given to you as a student. Trying new things will never be this easy once you graduate, so why not do it while you can?

Most of the events for this year have been released on the DSD website (https://ueadifferent.com/whats_on/). My advice is to look through the page and note anything that catches your interest, then choose those that you are keen to attend. Try to book at least a couple of things for the week, but do not get too excited and accidentally book two events occurring at the same time.

Maybe you want to try DJ-ing or make pottery? Perhaps you’ll find that your hidden talent is circus or beatboxing. Visit Cambridge, play PS4 or build confidence in public speaking? There are various exercise and sports activities, from boxercise and circuit training to drop-in swimming and badminton sessions. You can also attend a course to receive a three-year Emergency First Aid at Work Certificate that is recognised by HSE, only for £15.

Who knows, maybe you will pick up a new hobby this month!


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