With so many options to choose from, deciding on a college society can be a puzzling situation. Here are some things you should consider before you pick one!
A college society is an essential part of the college experience. Your elect society is likely to become a primary commitment besides academics, partially defining your college experience. It will become a loosely binding alliance for three-years (unless, like me, you manage to continually miss out on important meetings and are gawkily dismissed by the society president who says, ‘We appreciate your depressing prose, but we have to let you go for now.’) So where do you belong? Is it with the dancing throng showing off their John Travolta moves and catching the rays in the lawns? Or with the thespian crowd, enacting Beckettian plays in the amphitheatre? Or maybe, you belong with the cinephiles, sitting in the auditorium, watching the latest Greta Gerwig after a long day of mind-numbing lectures? Or, like me, you may get along with the writers that like to publicly embarrass themselves by reading out to each other the #sadgirlpoetry that they wrote in their notes app at 3 am? (Just kidding, plenty of good writers out here.) With so many enticing possibilities at the corner, trying to pick a college society is a fig tree situation – if there ever was one. The question is: how to pick the one that’s perfect for you? At Hogwarts, it’s a much easier process. The Sorting Hat does the trick. But unfortunately for you, my friend, Delhi University currently does not rely on magically speech-enabled fabrics to aid their students in the selection process of a college society. So here are some 7 things you should know before choosing a society:
- Know Your Calling
Remember that initial scene in the first Tinker Bell movie? Tinker Bell, the new fairy, is at her ceremonious initiation into Pixie Hollow. All the other fairies wait on the side-lines as Tinker Bell has to choose between the myriad talents that Pixie Hollow offers its aerial inhabitants. She proceeds to pick every other talent – roses, bubbles, windstorms – except her own talent: tinkering. Why does she do that? Because the rest just looks cooler. Homegirl is teaching us what exactly NOT to do. Don’t pick a society just because it looks cool. No society is innately better than the other. Know your assets and pick a society where you can actually make a meaningful contribution. Don’t choose a society just because your socially anxious friend drags you along to the orientation and tries to convince you to join that one society that only she’s qualified for. Know your calling, where your dexterities lie and make sure you can put them to good use. In short, don’t be a Tinker Bell.
- Do Your Research
Attend the orientation programmes of every society you are interested in. Ask questions there. Talk to previous members of the society. Look for pamphlets. Go on their social media. Visit their website. You will find useful information that will help you to decide if a particular society is what you are looking for.
- Know What You Are Looking For
Do you want to join a society because you have a genuine passion for their craft, or is it because you want to marginally enhance your resume, or is it because you want to have a typical college experience? All of those are valid reasons. But first, you need to be honest with yourself about your primary objective to correctly assess what kind of society you should sign up for as every society comes with different requirements and expectations for involvement. If possible, communicate your intentions to the people who interview you, they will appreciate your honesty.
- Talk to Your Seniors
Your seniors have been in the same position a year or two before. They were just as indecisive and divided, and yes, they may have possibly barked up the wrong tree in the beginning. But the good news is, most of them are willing to share their experiences with you. You can learn a lot from them. Your seniors – especially ones in the society you are interested to join – will likely have the know-how of it operates on a day-to-day basis. They can demystify the myths and facts surrounding different societies in your college. As opposed to society pamphlets, they can share a personalized version of what it means to be in a society. So don’t bite your tongues, and ask all the questions as politely as you can.
- Don’t Put all of Your Eggs into One Basket
Just like dating, don’t go for exclusivity at first. Be practical. Audition for multiple societies that interest you. It will keep your options open. If you don’t qualify for your first choice, you can always have a fall-back option.
- Committing and Copping Out
Once you’ve done your research and are largely aware of the specific expectations that the membership of a particular society comes with, go ahead! Commit yourself. If you feel unfulfilled later on, you are allowed to take the exit door.
- Have Fun!
Yes, you should be a little competitive and strategic while approaching college societies. But don’t forget to have fun. That’s exactly one of the things that societies are meant
Image Credit: NPR