I know the common saying is “leap of faith”.. but i’m using the past-tense because this post is essentially about a decision made and how it influenced a large part of my life in NUS. since i’m leaving for exchange soon as a year three, i guess it will be good to look back at one of the things that really defined my first two years in university.
today i am going to touch on my reflection about the NUS Geographical Society (Geog Soc)whether you are interested or not..
frankly speaking i have no idea why i want to join the Geog Soc when i was a year one, if you ask me now i still cannot tell you why i joined it in the first place except to make sure i have friends.. and i was even contemplating whether i want a cca since we all know most things in university are based on your choice and nothing is compulsory..
i joined the Geography Freshmen Immersion Camp because i know i will major in Geography and i reckon it won’t hurt if i can make friends early in a less-serious setting of a camp. and of course my close friend went for the camp with me too, after that she asked me if i want to join the Geog Soc.
i honestly have no idea what Geog Soc was about, and the position i’m running for was: anything in the Publications Cell (director/executive) and then anything in the Marketing Cell (cos i want to learn new things). evidently during the informal interview, i was not aware and had no idea being a member of Geog Soc meant you have to be involved in really most or even all of its activities. i thought i was in there to help make a magazine only!
in addition i guess i am pretty good with talking in public cos i actually zoned out when i talk in public therefore i have little notion of public-speaking phobia (cos most of the time i’m not 100% myself even though i may speak really well).. and after our election speech we got elected into the Publications Cell.
the 1st year journey…
so i was part of a 19-member committee, pretty big and good mix of seniors and juniors.. also a really fun group of people to be with, we hang out together most of the time.
just a disclaimer, it doesn’t mean when one is in Geog Soc we only hang out with our “own people”… there is definitely a tendency for us to stick with each other and i won’t deny it.
i mean since we’re working partners in CCA and if we are taking the same classes, these are the people whose schedules most likely fit with yours… add to that the frequency of seeing these people during Geog Soc “work hours” increases your level of comfort around them.
it’s the same as why you would stick with your friends and not random classmates when you are in class.and honestly sometimes we just have little energy to be proactive in “engaging” new friends cos after the CCA duties you really just want to have comfortable down-time.
BUT if you are a Geography major reading this and knows any MC member of Geog Soc, you can speak to us and i assure you every single one will be willing to make friends with you or at least be friendly and welcoming towards you. of course it would be good if we can be active in knowing more people but i give credit to my fellow Geog Soc friends for having tried reaching out through the “gateway” of organizing Geog Soc activities.
moving on first year was really busy plus being a newbie in university, half the time i couldn’t make sense of what i was doing.. my mind just told me to: “finish doing what you need to do, just do it to your best ability and don’t question because you have no time to ponder.” stupid as it may sound, but yes this was my motto going through year one.
i guess when the term ended my “leaped of faith” paid off, and i made friends whom i am still so thankful for. then came the decision to join again or not?
the 2nd year journey…
i honestly didn’t think i want to join Geog Soc as an MC member again, cos i was really really tired from my 1st year. but part of me wants to join because honestly i am afraid that i will not see my friends anymore (yes another childish reason on my part). but anyways my friend joined and i promise her i will too, to support her through her term.
i almost backed out on my word, like honestly anyone who see me at that period will probably think i’m in douche mode. but then it is a promise i made, and the last thing i want is to backed out on a promise and make myself a real douche.. so i continued with my second year term.
resolute not to make myself so tired (although still very tired or maybe as a 2nd year im numbed towards being tired? LOL)…basically i tried ways to make myself more discipline, i become more of an observer and do-er in the sense i don’t do things blindly anymore. the 2nd year in Geog Soc taught me different things, and i spent more time to know people outside of Geog Soc as well, yes i realized that i will have friends/i will make friends even if i am not in Geog Soc MC anymore.. hahaha
as i type this, i would already not be a part of the active management committee of Geog Soc cos my term ended with a new team elected.
i won’t deny it has been a really really liberating feeling to know i am no longer part of the Management Committee, but at the same time it is bitter sweet knowing you have to pass on the responsibility to a new group of better men and women.
part of me can’t let go of what we have achieved as a comm and even more so when i have experienced this with two committees, but i know if you ask me now i will say my blurness from joining Geog Soc at first was probably one of the best mistakes and i wouldn’t want it another way.. here is why.
1. from Geog Soc i found such a close and good group of friends that I know i want to make an effort to maintain the friendship and also keep in contact with.
Sidenote: This group of people gave me a surprise 21st birthday celebration and where else in the world will i get this if not for Geog Soc? so much love typing this down ❤
2. from Geog Soc, I GREW UP. i can say i am no longer as blur (although still blur), i can say that it shows me what priorities i have (because when you are busy you forced to choose and prioritise what things and values are truly important to you), i can say that it taught me skills that i won’t get from an academic module.
3. i can say that it made me become a better person. if i have the tendency to be a selfish/proud person, through Geog Soc i’ve met people so much better than myself, it is a good humbling experience. i start to believe that everyone and every situation is a learning opportunity.
4. it made me be aware that sometimes it is up to us to be conscious of showing other people respect and accepting alternative ideas from others. we all know how to say this but few of us actively practice it. Geog Soc gave me a platform to put this into practice, although i’m not perfect in this but i know i am better at it now.
5. it strengthen my idea of being responsible, it is not about answering to other people but it is about not letting yourself down and not dragging others down.
6. it taught me that everything happens for a reason. through this i choose to adopt a positive mindset that my “leaped of faith” becomes something that is a wonderful mistake and a blessing in disguise.
this is meant to be a reflection and not a preaching post, and if any junior ever asked me what Geog Soc does i will probably say: like any organization and experiences that you may have encountered, it is a place training you to be a better person and a place for you to learn, but only if you set to bring in a responsible mindset and attitude into it.
and of course Geog Soc lets you meet people who like and love the discipline of Geography too, hopefully it helps to connect like-minded people together..