Every year, lakhs of students apply to the prestigious University of Delhi, thousands get it, and a few hundred join the college societies. The month of August in the University calendar witnesses orientation programs, society auditions, WhatsApp forwards to the freshers, and posters on notice board informing about the society.
Amidst the arduousness of the ensuing academic pursuit, a college society plays an important role in giving its members the kind of experience they have never witnessed. Most of the students join these societies in order to enhance their curriculum vitae. However, down the line, they also understand that the exposure from the society not only transforms them, but also plays an important part in their holistic and professional development. It helps them express themselves, raise their voice against something which can create an impact in the university space. Meeting the deadlines, working in a team, recruiting people, generating revenue, and day-to-day management are some of the responsibilities handled by the society members. This extensive work that goes into making of any society, be it a newly formed one or an already existing one, demands enormous amount of energy and dedication. Shreya, a member of the fashion society of her college said, “Like every coin has two sides, it is the same with societies. Sometimes, the job is taxing. There is a schedule to be followed, a number of things to be done, paper work, coordinating with the society members, and what not. But at the same time, it is fulfilling. I have become confident. I know how to manage a team. Over the years, the society members become your family, you practise with them, eat with them, travel with them. Half your day is spent with the members. Your seniors teach you so much, and probably that is the best thing. When you see them working with sincerity and dedication, it really pushes you from within to strive for better, each and every day.” It is true that society is a gateway for finding friends in college. It helps build a mutual relationship of trust and respect, and also paves a way for healthy discussions.
Having said all this, I do realise some of us are not a part of any society. There can be multiple reasons, though. Some of us didn’t get in, some may have left the societies after having an idea of the hectic schedule, or probably some of us did not bother to join a society at all! A common factor the students who were not a part of any society talked about was the work and hours of practice. Some of the students live far away and dread reaching the college sharp at seven in the morning. Others believe that it is important to prioritise academics over extracurricular activities. Amanya, a recent graduate who was a part of the western dance society of her college said, “I joined the society in my first year. Hours of practice, missing classes, not being able to cope with my studies, and reaching college early in the morning were the reasons I had to leave my society. The fest season drove me crazy, I used to reach home late and had no energy to do anything productive after that. It was extremely difficult to manage. After a point of time, it felt like a burden.”
Coming to the those of you who did not get into any society this year- it’s okay if you failed that society audition. Your college life is much more than one audition. I have always believed that something better awaits all of us. Having given your best and still not being selected is something most of us have experienced at some point of time in our lives. You might feel disheartened and dejected. But utilising our potential in a productive way is totally up to us. Keep an eye on other societies, if not western music society, you might end up being a part of Enactus of your college. If not all this, make sure you indulge in something you like, maybe you can join a certificate course or try learning a new language. College life is about discovering yourself and your abilities. There are a variety of options available in this free world. Being or not being a part of any society, I hope your college years transform you into a confident, informed, and a more responsible individual.