Seven things only ‘LANS’ students can relate to at University of Birmingham

Not to sound like a pick me, but LANS girls are *truly* not like the other girls

Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences, AKA: LANS, is a pretty niche degree, and students on this interdisciplinary course have gained themselves a reputation on campus in Brum. Forget centuries old Maths or History degrees, “LANSers” can study almost everything, and have “the mental agility and adaptability to challenge complex problems”… with their degrees (and egos) an amalgamation of hand picked modules across all disciplines. Everyone knows this particular type of student because they are constantly frolicking across campus, infiltrating your art history module in the a.m. and then your mate’s chemistry labs in the p.m. Of course whilst telling everyone they meet that they do LANS.

Whether you’re a proud LANS student yourself, or just intrigued by the niche uni experience that this degree endures, this list of LANS experiences (approved by yours truly, a LANS 2nd year girly) will set the record straight on UoB’s most mysterious degree.

1. Experiencing a fashion show at any LANS lecture/seminar

In most lectures or seminars, you look around and it’s obvious most the room just rolled out of bed, stepped into a pair of Uggs or battered Airforces, and thrown on a puffer on top of their fluffy pyjamas. However, the eclectic catwalk of imaginatively styled charity shop tops, embroidered jeans from COW and chunky metallic boots – otherwise known as any LANS class, is on another level.

Forget Paris, Milan, New York City or London, The LANS hub is the future of fashion.

2. Getting 100 emails a day

LANS is great because students get to go crazy taking all sorts of modules and subjects. However, being signed up to so many classes will completely clog your inbox. Departments already send too many emails to their students, but as a LANS oddity, lucky you joins the mailing list for each department you take classes in. You must love sitting there for hours sifting through geography trip emails in your final year, after taking one single 10 credit human geography module in first year.

3. Knowing the university better than anyone

From organic chemistry to political art almost nothing is off limits to LANS student. Therefore, whether its iconic Muirhead or the dungeons of the Old Gym, you have probably ventured to most of the uni’s lecture halls, seminar rooms and buildings. You often impress your friends with your insider knowledge of the dodgy J. G Smith door, or secret study spaces in the Old Gym that have the infamous big chairs that people in the library compete for.

4. Always being late

Thanks to the gigantic size of campus, and the measly 10 minute gap between lectures, having classes everywhere also means you are often sprinting across the Green Heart only to still arrive late and dripping in sweat. There’s no need to download Couch to 5k when you regularly jog a half marathon from a Drama seminar in the OLRC to an Art lecture in the Barber. You better go download Strava.

5. Being a referencing pro

Every student moans about referencing and their department’s chosen referencing style. Whether it’s Harvard, Vancouver, Chicago, MHRA or whatever else, learning how to reference is such an arduous and long process. However, as a LANS student, you’ve had no choice but to master numerous styles to fit your many subjects.

This means all your friends, whether they study international relations or history of art, will turn to you as the referencing expert. Are they unsure how to reference a journal in Chicago or an artwork in MHRA? You’ve got them covered.

6. Always off doing something cool

Thanks to the cultural programme and department events, LANS students have so much to do. You can grab a trusty custard cream at weekly “Tea and Biscuits”, or join a DIY festival. You might even find yourself doing unique activities such as Printmaking at the Barber.

7. Having to constantly explain your degree

Unlike liberal arts’ immense popularity in the uni, outside it is almost unheard of, meaning you will spend a lot of time explaining your degree to your family and friends and clarifying for the millionth time that you DON’T study art.

Chances are over the years you have come up with an accompanying phrase to “I study liberal arts” that quickly explains your degree before you are asked the painfully typical question “what sort of art do you do?”.