Disclaimer: Originally published in March 2019. It is being republished since it still remains an interesting topic till today.
What comes to your mind when you hear ‘The University of Delhi’ or ‘DU’? High cut-offs? College festivals? Strikes and protests?
It is true that all of these things are the bodily elements of DU but without a doubt, the ‘heart of DU’ are its ‘Cultural College Societies’.
The Process of Decision Making
In order to reach there, you need to go through a long process of decision making which starts after the rigorous hard work of successfully surviving your boards.
First, you choose the course of your choice. Then comes the task of doing research and choosing your preferred college out of those which are available. After completing all of this you reach the path leading to the college societies.
Choosing to be or not to be a part of a college society and more importantly, which college society is something that should be done after due consideration.
The reason why I am saying this is because the society you become a part of will become a part of who you are in college and will have other implications as well.
Life of a Member
Those who want to pursue eccentric careers choose their colleges according to the societies of their interest and their reputation in their respective circuit.
But the important thing to remember is that you don’t get to automatically become a part of a college society just because you ‘chose’ it.
These are not workshops but ‘workplaces’ which expect professionalism and have proper auditions and interviews before letting you be a part of them.
One main issue which persists in all the ‘great’ societies is that of time consumption. To be very honest, societies eat up your whole day. For example, the dramatics society and the western dance society practice on all days except for Sundays for 4-5 hours daily.
The Fest Season
In the fest season, the practice and competitions both consume your whole day. For many societies, the duration of practice changes from 4-5 hours to 8-12 hours.
Yet those who are really devoted are not affected by this. They also perform at multiple places in a day so be ready to travel and to explore colleges across Delhi!
Another plus side to all of this is that you spend so much time with your fellow members that you end up making friendships which last for years if not forever. You have people in college on whom you can rely.
Also, those who are active members of societies need not worry about their attendance because college backs up cultural societies and gives them the provision of ‘extra-curricular activities’ or ECA’s.
According to the provision, colleges under DU have to give attendance benefits to the students who are representing their college in different competitions through college societies.
Students of some colleges have to do a little hustle in getting this attendance on time whereas some colleges like Kirori Mal College readily offer 33% attendance benefits to their ECA students.
You also might face some issues if you have stubborn and high headed professors who are against putting society work and competitions above internals.
With a little pinch of melodrama and being attentive in their classes which you’ll be attending (won’t be more than 3-4 for sure) you can have this sorted too.
No doubt college societies are the ideal spaces for those who know their talents but along with that, they also help those who aren’t aware of their talents and interests.
You can try out different societies by attending their orientations and realizing where your interests lie, what all hidden talents you have and finally get reviews by displaying them.
To give you an overview of the societies which you might encounter, here is a list of them –
- Hindi Street Play/Dramatics Society
- Western Dance Society
- English Theatre Society
- Music Society
- Debate Society
- Fashion Society
- Quiz Society
- Placement/Internship Cell
- Women’s Development Cell
If you are someone who does not like to commit yourself to something and just wants to enjoy your DU life by chilling and having free time then maybe being a part of a demanding college society isn’t for you.
A note from a current Fresher to the about to be Freshers-
Don’t be shy as everyone around you is as clueless as you are. These societies are made by people of your age group and you are the ones who will take it forward.
Best of luck!
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Find the blogger at @UrvikaKapoor