Joining a Society at NUST (Part-II)

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There are only two kinds of people – In fact, a lot of two kinds of people – in this world. There are those who walk through their university lives quietly. Then there are those who make a lot of noise while at it. There are also people who think that the best way to make that kind of noise is to get into each and every extracurricular activity that the campus has to offer. So many go ahead and join student societies to have a lot of fun – and to make some noise. And some people join these clubs because they are friends with those who like to make a lot of noise. Meanwhile, the people who walk through their University lives quietly, realize that they are probably making a mistake, and join a student society,too, only to walk through their University lives quietly with added hopes of improving their resumes a bit (but without making noise).

This, here, is the part II of the posts on Joining NUST-based Student Societies and in this one I am going to talk about the things that are going to matter to you at the end of the day. In the first part, I was a bit busier going into the options you had while you are here… Well, obviously, before going into that, I did assume that you wanted to make at least some noise, and were willing to take down some people with you while you were going down if it came to that (Don’t worry, it won’t.. or let’s hope that it won’t). But first of all, you need to…

…Join In:

That’s the most important first step. So you probably filled in that general membership form because there were so many people pushing you into it (jeez, get off my back!), and since it seemed like no harm (and oh those discounts! and oh those events!), you went ahead and did it. Then you came across executive membership and you filled it anyway, because you had nothing better to do and the form seemed kind of fun.

Then that interview call came, or that weird (and extremely boring, and flabbergasting, and exasperating) task came in your email with a daunting deadline, and you suddenly found out that you didn’t care.

But at the end of the day, trust me, you will find that you did care, or rather had cared.

So when all of this is happening to you, and you are thinking twice about it, then don’t. Go ahead and join in, even if you have no clue what you are doing with your life. You’ll find that out. That is not related to your joining in.

(NOTE: People who haven’t yet been through the set of events mentioned above, please reread the paragraph in future tense instead of past tense.)

Now, if you have clearly decided to give this society thing a try, and probably chosen some options, and probably even applied, let me tell you one other thing: it doesn’t really matter what society you join. Well, may be a little bit… Umm – but, no, it reaalllly doesn’t.

No matter what society you join, you are going to experience the same kind of work, will be sorely disappointed (with everything, more or less) and mid-way through, it is going to look like it is not worth the effort. In your CV, it’ll just be that extracurricular stuff that you did, and at the end of the day, that experience is going to look the same to you, whatever the society is. Unless you…

…Identify with the vision:

Now this is the most important part of your most important first step. Because if you can do that, and find inspiration in what the society is actually trying to do, it will make everything so much easier. Because when you join a club that’s complementary to your personality, it will reflect you more truly on your CV.

Not only that, but you will perform better. You will be more motivated to work for that society, you’ll be more innovative, and you’ll get more clearer on what you are trying to do with your life with time. So join one that is more close to your hobbies, interests, and passions, and you’ll climb that ladder to extracurricular greatness in no time.

And that ways, there are more sure-shot chances of your making it into that club. And once you are in, there’s something that you can start doing immediately, and that is to…

…Participate: 

You might think it looks stupid. Or may be you think that it looks foolish. But no matter how stupid or how foolish, it’s appreciated, and that’s what matters. This shows that you are owning up to your role in the Society (which is great news for you and other people who took you in).

So pitch in, and say something, give suggestions, appreciate the good work (more than just liking comments on Facebook). Well, there’s something you should know here: pretty much nobody is going to take you seriously for a while. Don’t get disheartened and keep at it. Once you are a bit settled with them, and they start realizing that you are not the common show-off person, they will start giving more ear to your talk. And while we are talking about participation, you can always…

…Volunteer:

So this is what you are going to do when any task comes up, take it! Or even before it’s there, you can talk to your immediate team leader and let them know how you would like to do the first task that they can hand out.

When you are given a task, try and not back down, and adjust your schedule accordingly to complete it. Although there’s one catch: if you become the person who does all their tasks, right on time, and you are among the small bit of people who does that, then due to some strange positive feedback mechanism, you’ll get more work, and then some more, and then more work even before you have completed the previous bit of work given to you.

If you feel that is what is happening to you, then by all means, be a little evil and have something up your sleeve: say that your great great great grandfather died, and their last wish was for you to get good grades in university, and just a moment ago, you were about to open your lectures and start studying for that exam happening 3 weeks after, so obviously you are not available for the next month. Sorry!

Jokes aside, if you genuinely cannot do one task then refuse the first instant, so that the task may be delegated to someone else and get done on time. But never do this one thing: Not…

…Respond:

Reply and tell them when the task will be done. Reply and refuse if you cannot do it. Reply and give your reasons for not doing a task on time and that you are sorry, and you’ll get it done the first instant. Reply and say you are fine if they ask you how you are doing.

Now that you are wiser than when you started reading this post, I think you should know one thing: You are going to be sorely, sorely, disappointed no matter what society or club you join (Oh wait – I told you this already). Because in all honesty, of all the thousands of people enrolled in NUST, there are going to be a precious few who dedicate that much of their time and effort for something as useless as an extracurricular life. But despite all that, you should still…

…Be a bit ambitious:

So you joined the “biggest” society of NUST. That person who always sits at the back in your class joined the other “biggest” society of NUST. And that nicest one of your seniors has been in the “biggest” society of NUST for three years! And guess what? You are all in separate student clubs.

Everyone says that (Okay, everyone does not say that, so as not to be unfair to those humble enough not to publicize this point). And just may be, they have a tiny bit of right to it.

So you entered a Society that claimed it was the biggest in NUST, and once you went inside and adjusted to the scene in NUST, you discovered how they lied and cheated on you.

But your Society could be the biggest in the next year or two.

Try and be a bit ambitious instead of saying all that bad stuff about the society people. Probably that Society was waiting for you to come forward 😉

So stick around. Want your society to do more than it does. Make a difference. Take initiatives. Change that scene in NUST. Make that extracurricular task your priority, too. Work to make your society the best one, the coolest one, in NUST… better than ALL those other ones. After all, you are working in that society, it will only add to your own image if you make it.

But as I said, you’ll not be taken seriously at first (ha ha), may be for a whole set of 365 days. The suggestions you put forth may take a year or two in implementing. Don’t let that make the impression on you that things aren’t happening for you. So meanwhile, what you should do is…

…Connect:

Societies give you the most opportune moments to connect with people from other departments. Get to know other people, make friends from other fields. You may meet some great people this ways  (and it is also kind of cool). And, while I have been talking about all this stuff that, probably, won’t matter to some of you, there’s one, most important thing that always will, and that is to…

…Have fun.

 

Go out there and start working for the to-be “biggest” society of NUST. So it might improve your CV. So it might land you an internship. So you might get to know about and meet some great personality. But at the end of the day, you will remember the most amazing times you had in NUST and more often than not, they will be from your experiences with the society people that you worked with.

Bon voyage!

Qudsia

MS student at School of Chemical and Materials Engineering (SCME), NUST, I am interested in science and technology, food, and weird music (but I don’t blog about weird music). I can be contacted at qudsiyah17@gmail.com.

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