College societies are regarded with huge importance for giving exposure and bridging the gap between academics and fun. But is the end result always worthy of the effort? We probe into the matter.
Three months of time is enough to decrypt the nitty-gritties of college workings and to figure out which societies one wants to prioritise and which one wants to miss. Usually, freshers are told by their beloved seniors that the precursor to a happening and exciting college life is joining multiple societies, something which is baseless and definitely not a necessity. Why is it so, that the reason why Delhi University is so sought after, tantamounts to nothing by the end?
College societies are portals to the real world, they provide the right extent of exposure and push students to pursue their passions positively. While most performing societies work all-year round to put up a successful production or composition, it’s the academic societies that are abundant and pique interest of all students. Academic societies provide a much needed relief to many from hectic practice schedules and offer a platform for like-minded individuals to converse and deliberate on topics that interest them. Oftentimes, these societies are regarded with utmost importance as many conduct several rounds of recruitment and grill interviewees to the core. The international organisation, Enactus, is one such example of an academic society which foresees immense applications and has the potential to drive change through devoted hard work. Therefore, what matters is the effort taken and milestones achieved in terms of experience gained and lives affected.
Unfortunately, from a year’s experience of working in various academic societies, my learning outtake has been next to nil. While Enactus has established itself as a force to reckon with, other similar societies have had mixed responses. The obvious undercurrent for joining a society is almost always CV enhancement, something which ends up irking the very job interviewers it was meant to impress. Learning takes a backseat, and constructive criticism gets lost amid the mindless events churned out. The primary focus shifts to gathering footfall at an inter-college event over encouraging society members to learn from relevant examples. Interested students who joined the society because of the initial good impression, face the brunt and eventually get used to the farce.
It does not matter how many societies one is a part of – what bears fruit is what you learn from your time in one and how you see yourself growing further there. Fancy titles and exclusive posts matter little in front of all the learning that one can gain from discussions and knowledge shared. Exposure demands context; without purpose any society can fall apart. An Entrepreneurship Cell without any members interested in entrepreneurial pursuits is what results in a culture of lackluster learning. Prerequisites like ensuring likes on the Facebook page or forceful volunteerism hamper the effectiveness of this wonderful medium. The number of societies that focus on developing members is definitely rising, but so is the number of societies that solely aim to organise a few events the entire year and call it a day. A shift from the growing CV culture to knowledge-sharing can happen only if the person is in a position acknowledge this and members are willing to change from years of established patterns.
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