Disclaimer: Originally published in August 2018. It is being republished since it still remains an interesting topic till today.
In my first month at Hans Raj College, Delhi University, I was utterly puzzled and lost, thanks to the n-number of societies trying to recruit all of us freshers and all the buzz about CV-making and extra curriculum.
I saw flash mobs of dance, music and dramatics societies one after the other. I saw open mic stages from these very societies. I saw my canteen full of colourful, vibrant posters of uncountable societies.
The college auditorium always had some orientation happening where all the lost freshers would gather in hope of some clarity of what’s happening- but never found any.
Don’t worry, It’s not THAT bizarre an experience, it gets better.
It was only the work of a few most helpful seniors that I was able to cross that bustling bridge. And here I am, trying to be one of those helpful seniors for you.
1. DON’T JOIN SOCIETIES OUTSIDE OF COLLEGE
Most of these societies that claim to be from outside of college and come to ask for your money in exchange for fantastic experience/s are scams. Once they sell their forms and collect their fees, they won’t even contact you again, forget all those fantastic experiences.
Even if few of them do, the quality of such societies is often questionable. College societies, any day, are far more credible and efficient, quality-wise.
I, myself, paid the fee for a society called The Education Tree. Nobody contacted me after that.
2. AVOID FILLING UP THE FORMS FOR SOCIETIES WHO DEMAND MONEY IN EXCHANGE OF THE FORMS
These societies usually carry their registrations ON for a long period of time. An example of such a society is NSS.
It’s wiser to first indulge in societies that are free of cost, and later, if you still are attracted to any of those societies that have a fee, you haven’t lost your chance.
In fact, the core team members of these societies (president, vice-president etc.) always welcome volunteers/members even if they are late for registrations. Just have a talk with them, pay the required fee, and in you get.
3. LIFE HACK: IF YOU WANT A CORE POST NEXT YEAR, JOIN SOCIETIES THAT ARE STILL IN ITS FORMATIVE YEARS
Most of us join societies to get that extra edge in our CV. A “president” or a “General Secretary” on our CV definitely looks excellent.
Once you join a society, you’ll be working your souls off for the society the entire year. It’s only fair you get something attractive at the end of it. Smart people like my friends joined college societies that were based on a good idea but didn’t have many people to take it forward.
It’s a win-win situation. You get to learn how to start from scratch, and it’s you who gets the silver lining on the CV as well.
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4. FILL ALL THE FORMS THAT COME YOUR WAY
There are two kinds of people in the crowd:
- The people who fill the forms for all the societies
- Those who don’t fill all the forms, and regret it later
Fill all the forms. It’s free. It’ll only teach you how to sell yourself better.
Of course, by filling all the forms I am not asking you to fill the form for music/dance/drama/debate even if you have no knowledge in these areas.
Use your common sense, but please do fill the forms for all the academic societies, and all the ECA ones which you want to give a shot at.
Fill the form as soon as it comes in the class group. Don’t wait for the deadline to arrive. Otherwise, you’ll miss the best ones by mistake.
After filling up all the forms, now is the time to decide amongst the societies that have chosen you for the second round. Now is when you think about your area of interest, because initially, in the hubbub of all the advertisements by the societies, it’s almost impossible to do so.
And you might end up making the wrong call if you try to decide before filling all the forms.
So, here was my guide to choosing a good society! Hope that was helpful. Do leave any queries/thoughts/reactions that you have in the comment section below.
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