Amaan Abbas

VP Barts and The London

Amaan Abbas

Tell us a bit about yourself, your role, and your time at Queen Mary and Barts and The London

Hi, I’m Amaan! I’m this year’s Barts and The London Student’s Association President (or VP Barts and The London), and I’ve been here for four(!) years. After completing three years of medicine, I’ve just finished my intercalated degree in Medical Education. Over the four years, I’ve tried to get involved with the BLSA, joining clubs like Hockey and Lacrosse (no comment on my level of skill), joining BL Debating and Ethics, or being the Engagement Officer for the BLSA.

Being the BLSA President means I’ll be in charge running the BLSA and representing all of you guys studying at any of the six institutes at the SMD. Whether you’re at Whitechapel or West Smithfield, Mile End or Malta, I’ll be representing you!

Favourite spot on any of our campuses?

The BLSA Building. I have so many memories in there, from Tables at the Griff Inn to late nights with friends in the Recovery Room. I’m so excited to see what the BLSA will end up looking like as we move into the Garrod Building later this year.

If you could recommend one thing the Students’ Union has on offer for students to get involved in, what would it be?

Sports clubs! Some of my closest friends have come from joining sports clubs (and societies, shoutout to the Zebraphiles). I also struggle to keep going to the gym to stay in shape, so it’s a really fun and social way to stay fit and let go of my study stress from the week. Don’t be intimidated by sports teams – anyone who’s seen me play hockey will tell you that I’m no athlete, but that doesn’t stop me.

Top study tip?

Vary your environment - I realised while writing essays for my intercalated degree that I don’t actually work very well at home. We have so many lovely study spaces on our campuses, make the most of them! Some of my favourites include West Smithfield library, the 4th floor of Mile End library and The Griff (when I’m feeling a bit more social).

Tell us about a hobby you do and why you love it.

Playing games online with friends - It helps me keep up with my friends from back home and forget about work for a few hours.

What’s one thing at Uni that you couldn’t live without?

The BLSA. It’s given me some of my happiest moments at university (scoring at Merger was a highlight!) and helped me through some of the toughest times in my studies. The friends I made at my clubs, societies, and the BLSA Board, are the reason I’m still studying, and I couldn’t live without them.

What’s your ideal day out in London?

Cycling around when it’s nice weather, wandering in and out of museums, just enjoying living in London without being too ‘touristy’ or planning everything to the minute and stressing about getting to the next attraction. If you’re living in Dawson Hall, make sure to enjoy the fact Central London is around the corner (and enjoy the lovely Charterhouse lawn when it’s sunny!).

What’s a piece of advice you’d give to students?

Everything might seem overwhelming to start, but you have time to learn how to deal with all this new information. The first term can be forgiving, so see if the study methods that worked for you at sixth form work for you at university - and if not, don’t worry! Try something else or ask for help. It’s so much better to find out how you study effectively sooner rather than later.

If you could have one superhero power, what would it be?

Teleportation - I could get so much more sleep if travel time didn’t exist (and it would help me get between my many society events without having to cycle at maximum speed). Plus, what’s flight if not just teleporting into the sky over and over…

What are you most looking forward to this year?

Organising and running Rites of Passage - so many of my friends are going into final year this year, and I can’t wait to see all their hard work pay off as they become Doctors and Dentists (please note I will also be happily crying at this event, don’t be too alarmed if you tune into the livestream).

View my manifesto