Hi, my name is Teo, I’m 17 and a member and volunteer for the Manchester Lit & Phil. I’d like to tell you how I came to be involved, and why I think you should also become a member.
“I’ve always had a passion for philosophy and wanted to find events related to my interests.”
But as a young person I found this extremely difficult. I found that most academic spaces were primarily dedicated to academics. And it was difficult to know for certain if I would be welcome.
During my search for academic events, I had stumbled upon the Manchester Lit & Phil’s website but was initially intimidated and assumed they were not accepting of young people – like the other organisations I had found.
A few months later, however, I felt even more pressure to find academic events due to wanting to do well at college.
“I needed to expand my knowledge outside of the school curriculum and have something to put in my personal statement.”
This led me to re-evaluate and then subscribe to a Manchester Lit & Phil membership. Student membership costs just £2.00 per month, and I was sure I’d make the most of it.
Initially, when I attended my first event, I was very surprised to find that many other attendees were much older than me and I thought that this might make me feel out of place. But, contrary to my beliefs, everyone was very welcoming and friendly.
“I found myself having discussions about all sorts of topics ranging from philosophy to history to science with people of a wide range of backgrounds and ages. As a result of this, I learnt how to be more comfortable in academic spaces and within academic discussions whilst also expanding my general knowledge. It was really rewarding.”
This year I’m very much looking forward to the next Lit & Phil Philosophy Forum and the Science & Technology talk on the Four Ways of Thinking: Statistical, Interactive, Chaotic and Complex by Professor David Sumpter.
“I would recommend Manchester Lit & Phil events to anyone over 16 who is looking for a friendly environment within which to explore their academic interests.”
Turning up at events where you don’t know anyone can be scary, and you may even initially feel discouraged by your age, but don’t let that put you off. Anyone with even a slight interest in an event subject, or who wants to hear from a particular speaker, should try it out.
Come to learn, socialise and even have an extra super curricular event to add to your personal statement!