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  • Writer's pictureMaria Cahill

Natalia's Reflections on Involvement in a Student Society

What was the best thing about being involved?

I initially joined for my CV and to make friends, but the best thing was that some of the people I met were already the people I wanted to be: people who knew how to speak in meetings and how to get things done, people who had a lot of confidence, even under pressure. I watched and listened and learned a lot, and gradually started to pick up some of their ways of doing things. I’m not sure I could have learned these things in any other way.

What was the biggest challenge?

It’s so hard to make decisions with people, especially when they have strong views and don’t back down easily. Our meetings were long, and we talked a lot before and after the meetings. There were conflicts and challenges that felt very important at the time, and I used up a lot of energy worrying about things. It was overwhelming and stressful at times.

What was the legacy in your life?

I think being involved opened possibilities and brought some things within my grasp that would have been otherwise out of reach for me. It’s hard to pinpoint that, it’s more of a sense I have. The one thing I can definitely trace back to this time is that I realised how hard it is to be a leader, how hard it is to make decisions with a group of people, and how most of the time there are good arguments on both sides, and the room can be fairly evenly split, and you still have to arrive at a decision. I think it made me have more respect for people in leadership roles in work, and even in politics...


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