The Snowball Effect
About a year ago, a friend of mine sent me a message which went on to change my entire outlook on my university experience. It wasn’t so much the message, but the way the consequences lead me to where I am today.
The previous paragraph gave away virtually nothing, but my friend had texted me: “Hey, I know you’re a member of Cursor, so I would like to recommend you for the T-Licht editorial board.” (I’m paraphrasing of course.) For those unaware of what T-Licht is, it is essentially a magazine within the Chemical Engineering faculty, the articles are mostly written by students and members of the faculty. The topics range from developments in the field of chemistry to random experiences. I was a bit hesitant on joining the team because I hadn’t been an active member of study association Japie for the previous years, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to take on the extra workload.
As one would expect, I reluctantly said yes, and until now I remain grateful that I did. Because I’ve grown such a deeper appreciation for chemistry and the work that has been done by scientists of the past by researching and writing about their works. I also started a recurring article called ‘Chemical of the Quartile’ where I take up two pages writing about a random chemical of interest that has a significant application in the real world. Which allows me (and hopefully other readers) to see the world with their (figurative) chemistry goggles on.
My experience joining the association was incredible, so much so that it made me, a person who was always too shy and reluctant of joining associations, join a few friends who were enthusiastic in setting up our own student association. It is called Caribe and aims to make students from the Caribbean feel more at home and give other students the opportunity to experience our culture. We’ve already had our first event and are looking down the barrel of our second. The events are open to all, so if anyone reading this is interested in joining, you can visit our Instagram (@caribe.ehv) for more details.
A year ago, I would have dreaded the idea of being a member of an association and now I am in the board of one, on a committee for another, and open to joining more if the opportunity arises. While it is still overwhelming at times, I do enjoy the benefits of being part of these teams. Aside from the generic stuff like meeting new people, which is great, I’ve been able to read research papers without feeling like its work while still being productive. I’ve also gotten more excuses to cook Caribbean food, and I’ve slowly overcome a part of my introverted nature.
All in all, you won’t really know where your interests lie unless you try it out. Whether it is with a student team, an association, or something else, give it a try no matter how overwhelming it may seem at first. There are lots of opportunities available at the university, and if not, make them!