Society auditions seem to be the ultimate gateway into finding friends and purpose in college. With so much at stake, how does one deal with the failure of making into their preferred society?
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”Winston Churchill. This sounds phony, but it’s true.
The first week of August is over and chances are that the society orientations and auditions must be wrapping up as well. If you are one of those people who auditioned for extra-curricular clubs and societies, but unfortunately didn’t get through then this article is for you. We can’t claim to be experts in offering advice, however, we’ll repeat the lessons you are familiar with but need a reminder about.
The societies and cells in the University of Delhi (DU), be it the ever vibrant dance societies or the smug English debating ones, are repositories of talent. DU owes its spirit to them. It’s only natural that most of us want to be a part of these groups, for which we undergo a strenuous selection process. Some of the more competitive ones amongst us start preparing for it weeks in advance.
On the D-day, several things can go wrong. And even if they go right, you might still not find yourself amongst the chosen lot. And obviously, your heart will break, plain and simple. You’ll yearn to join those Dramatic Society members whenever you see them practicing in their high-pitched and compelling voices and reverberating energy. All of this will hurt and in all honesty, it sucks. There is no other adjective to explain this dismay and dejection.
To say that you have to be and can be bigger than your failure is unerring, but it also stems from this over expectation of healing. Take your time to crib and curse. The recovery needs to be neither graceful nor easy. Allow yourself the luxury of sorrow and once you are done, it would be time for an after-action review. Sit and analyse what went wrong, ask the members of the selection panel for feedback. It’s imperative that you reflect on what you did and avoid similar mistakes in the future. While this contemplation is never straightforward, it’s totally possible that the reason you didn’t get in has nothing to do with what you did wrong but with different expectations of the selectors. Maybe you are amazing at Indian classical music, but the society folks wanted someone who can beatbox. Your takeaway from this rejection should be self-assessment and experience. Make most of it even when you feel like murdering an entire clan.
At the onset of new sessions, societies recruit members liberally and what usually happens is, by the next month or so, a few recruits leave the society for several reasons. This opens up space for new members again, hence, your chances to join your desired fraternity are still available. Make sure you tell your seniors about your availability and try again.
Now, it’s time to use the ‘when one door closes, another opens’ analogy. Look around and scout for other opportunities that are still open. You may never know about your cinephile credentials unless you sign up for the Film Club. You might never unearth your abilities in entrepreneurial action unless you join the Enactus unit of your college. A huge part of college life is also about discovering oneself and it’s time you try as many things as possible. Keep your mind and your options open. There is a saying that sometimes it takes a wrong turn to get you to the right place. So maybe, just maybe, your destiny and passion lies in an obscure club waiting for you to locate it.
There is more to college life than societies. Have faith, seek beauty in the mundane, and you will fare the failure. We are rooting for you.
Feature Image Credits: Kartik Kakar for DU Beat