From your first day of college it is drilled into you to get involved in DCU clubs and societies. Often it is drummed into you so much that ironically, you don’t bother.
It can be daunting as a first year to sign up and attend straight off the mark. As the weeks pass, it can then become even more difficult to get involved when it seems that everyone has already found their place. It can be one vicious circle, but you should remember that it’s never too late.
Over the next two weeks, all club’s and societies will be holding their AGM’s. For anyone not in the know, an AGM is a society meeting where committee spots are up for grabs.
In order to stand for a position, you only require two votes from other society members. Following a nomination, a few words on why you would be good at the job will suffice. This is then followed by a secret ballot
While making a speech in front of a room full of people may seem like a daunting prospect, you should remember that everyone in the room is there for the same reason that you are. Whether you are successful in your committee bid or not, the fact of putting yourself out there can only be beneficial to you in the long run. Also remember that just because you didn’t succeed in your first attempt, doesn’t mean you can’t go for something else. In previous years people have ran for numerous positions before finding what was right for them!
However, if elected, you will be surprised at how easy it is to become involved in something that you are passionate about. In fact, I believe that running for a spot on a committee is the best thing that you can do throughout your time a college.
You may ask, what’s in it for me? Whilst it’s true that being on a society committee can take up a lot of your time, the rewards you receive more than make up for this. Not only can you gain insightful experience into your chosen career, you are also bound to make a lot of new friends who will all become important contacts. Society life can also directly lead to employment – holding a committee spot looks great on a CV, it shows that you’re willing to go the extra mile by immersing yourself society life.
The benefits don’t stop there; running for a committee position can also improve your academic standing. Ever heard of the Uaneen module? Uaneen is a voluntary module that depending on your degree, can count for extra credits. It is completely based on your extracurricular involvement.
Last year, Eve Kerton was the DCU Society officer and this year she will be acting as the DCU Welfare Officer. Eve says, ‘getting involved in club and society life is the best thing you’ll do in DCU. Your fellow dancers/footballers/Friends enthusiasts etc, become your family away from home. You bond with these people over common interests, become fit from rehearsals and utilise your time in college. There’s more to life than assignments and going on the beer, club and society life allows you to become the best person you can be, maximising your potential, maintaining your physical and mental health and giving you endless opportunities. So get up, get out, and get involved.’ When put like that, it’s impossible to argue with right?
In my opinion, if you don’t get involved in society life, it will be your biggest regret when you look back on your time spent at DCU. Ruth Marnell is a final year Journalism student who attributes her biggest college mistake to not getting involved more in clubs and societies – ‘I’ve seen how much fun my friends involved in society life have. I feel I missed out on a large chunk of college life. It would definitely be the one thing I would change about my experience.’
For those of you who have a second chance to get involved, seize it. There are so many roles to occupy, from Chairperson to Events Officer, that it is almost a certainty that you will find your place. Whether it is Style Soc or Saint Vincent de Paul Soc, there truly is something for everyone. So what are you waiting for?