Charlotte is a student on the MPharm (Hons) Pharmacy course at Bath.
My first year of university was during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic and I had to study from home. When I could finally come to Bath I was a little nervous; how would I fit in and feel part of the community here? Luckily, Bath University Student Theatre (BUST) had already helped to set the stage.
From stepping out to stepping up
I'd done drama and musical theatre before, so the extensive arts facilities were one of the things I particularly liked about Bath. I signed up for BUST and Bath University Student Musicals Society (BUSMS) during my first year. I then started attending weekly online workshops. Everyone was welcoming from the beginning, and I soon felt like I had a group of like-minded friends. We did a couple of online plays, which were unlike anything I have ever done, and I finally got to meet everyone in person at a social towards the end of the year.
Since then, I've performed in many plays on campus and in the city centre with a group of people I now see as my second family. I also ran for the committee position of Welfare and Inclusivity Officer, and I am now in my second year in the role.
No rehearsal necessary
My advice, if you're considering joining an arts (or any) society, is to go for it! Attending the first workshop or social with a new society can be daunting, but I am yet to meet anyone who regrets doing it. BUST, and many other societies, run taster sessions, making it easy to find something that you're interested in. If you have any questions, you can send committee members a message or email. Committee members will also be happy to meet with you before an event. That way you'll already have a connection; someone who can make sure you get the most out of the experience.
Taking a bow
Now that I am in my third year, I can say with confidence that being a part of BUST and the wider arts community has been a highlight of my time at Bath. I've met friends for life and my wonderful girlfriend. I've also grown in confidence and found something that I will continue to do when I have left university.
Theatre is about self-exploration and fun. It's also about connecting with other people, whether they are fellow cast members or strangers in the audience. I couldn’t have asked for a better continuation of my love for theatre than with BUST.