Student Awareness Days 2022


Student Engagement Expert

04 Jul 2022

Student Awareness Days 2022

When students first arrive at university, they are inundated with new trends and habits during Freshers week - but the events don’t stop when Freshers week ends. Time to find out about Awareness Days. 

What is an Awareness Day?

Awareness Days are designed to draw attention to a particular concept or theme - usually related to identity groups, social movements or hobbies. Some you may well have heard of - Pride Month in June, for example, or Black History Month in October. Others - such as National Pizza Day or High Five Day - are more light-hearted. 

The importance of Awareness Days on campus

Awareness days which focus on culture are important because they bring to light issues that are historically hidden or communities that are marginalised. As students take their first steps into independence, they will appreciate opportunities to celebrate their cultural identities, or those of others. 

In the case of more light-hearted awareness days, it’s a chance for togetherness and humour. Other concepts - such as Dry January or Cycle to Work day - help participants to try out a different lifestyle. 

In short, Awareness Days vary depending on what they’re drawing attention to - but one thing that unites them all is their capacity to create community and establish a positive campus culture. native research shows that as many as 40% of students don’t feel part of a community at university, and 47% don’t feel that their university has a campus culture. Awareness Days are a great way to bring students together - and retain active participants in students’ union culture throughout Freshers and beyond. 

Awareness Days and events

Awareness Days are already in the calendar - meaning there’s already a buzz about them online. All you have to do, as a students’ union, is create an event to bring students together. 

As we mentioned already, ‘Awareness Day’ is a very broad term that encompasses everything from light-hearted trends to huge undertakings in cultural education - the worst thing to do would be to treat them all the same. At native, we work with students’ unions to create an engaging calendar of events. We’ve noticed that student events tend to fall into one of four categories.

  1. Play: events where students can have a laugh and make friends. A great opportunity for icebreaking. 
  2. Identity: a chance to facilitate communities and bring people together, providing safe spaces for them to explore and celebrate their identities. 
  3. Future: students are at university to enjoy the here and now - but of course, they will always have their futures on the brain. Certain events can cater to future career development. 
  4. Care: wellbeing is the cornerstone to university life - these events are designed to give students’ minds and bodies the care they need.

Key Awareness Days for Term 1 and Freshers: a checklist

There are a huge range of student-focused Awareness Days that you might want to put on your calendar of events. Here are just a few unmissable moments to bear in mind for Term 1. Download and save our handy infograhic of awareness days aligned to the above four themes.

Play-themed awareness days

  • Read a book day - 6 September
  • Guacamole day - 16 September
  • International Coffee Day - 1 October
  • Mean Girls Day - 3 October 
  • Halloween - 31 October 
  • World Vegan Day - 1 November 
  • Singles Day - 11 November 

Identity-focused awareness days

  • Black History Month - October 
  • Dyslexia Awareness Week - October
  • National Coming Out Day - 11 October 
  • Transgender Day of Rememberence - 20 November 
  • International Day of Persons with Disability - 3 December

Future-focused awareness days

There are no specific national days for future careers in Term 1- but this is a great opportunity to create your own calendar and establish campus-wide engagement events for specific career tracks. 

Care-focused awareness days

  • World Suicide Prevention Day - 10 September
  • National Fitness Day - 25 September 
  • Breast Cancer Awareness Month - October
  • World Mental Health Day - 10 October
  • Movember - November  

Want to create a campus culture that thrives throughout the first term and beyond? Read our SUs Guide to Campus Culture today.