1st June is a special day for a lot of people. For kids, it's International Children's Day. For a selected few, probably the first day of work when it comes to summer internships and stuff. For me, it's the end of many responsibilities and the start of new ones.
Talking about responsibilities, there hasn't been any year with more to handle than the previous academic year. Two main comm posts including one of the highest of positions, plus the occasional other commitments. It was stressful, it was tiring, but nonetheless it was extremely fulfilling.
This series of numbers serve as a reminder of how great a year it has been. And it starts with a very familiar one.
15, for 15 minutes, and for #vnntu15
Little did I know that a decision made with 15 minutes remaining before the nomination deadline would have such a profound impact on my life. I'm thankful to everyone who have given me the opportunity to care a whole awful lot for this community. And I reserve the greatest of praises for my committee, friends who have gone all the way to support me and support each other in this endeavor. More of a personal note: I'm not the type of person to look to for new ideas as I'm extremely low on the creativity index - my expertise seems to be on the other end, and that is taking broken stuff and trying to fix it. Our success could be seen in many forms but to me, the most important success of all is a culture of zero conflict and (little) controversy - I personally dislike conflicts no matter how they are supposed to help people understand each other better, and having all easy-going personnel on board is a definite plus. Needless to say doing stuff with this bunch is hella fun.
However, as with many other amazing things, besides the visible fun and excitement (that everyone knows since everyone shares all the good times on Instagram) lies the invisible struggle to simply get things done. Throughout my term as president, two periods stood out as the pressure took the better part of me. That was towards the beginning and towards the end, or in my favorite mathematical terms, "the pressure took a spectacular cosine curve".
When I first started out I gave myself a rather challenging task: to emulate the "typical" president - that is to speak to the crowd, to influence people, to have a vision, to do a lot of this and that. Does not sound like me at all, and in fact it created an immense pressure for me to perform. So I wasn't happy when I didn't have the control I wanted when meetings were on; wasn't happy when I did bad at team macro-management (although it's a fact that I'm terrible at SC2); and definitely wasn't happy when everyone else seemed to do so much better compared to me. Coupled with some of the worst personal developments (which I would go into details in part 2 of the series), I was not in good shape. Almost gave up on being president actual.
But before I gave up, I was lucky to (accidentally) consult some of my friends at that moment. And just by talking (or rather ranting) to them I realized that I'm just not good at doing stuff I'm never good at; that I should start doing things a little bit my way; and that I'm exceptional at counting money. The last statement didn't mean much since I wasn't in that position, but the fact was things started to change though, and definitely for the better - I was most natural and comfortable with my supportive role, and that positivity carried on until almost the end.
Enter election period.
After such a successful year, there was the natural pressure to find deserving successors. Of course the most important of all was my position; that is not to say the other three were not of certain importance as four makes up a team. But when I said four makes up a team, there were literally exactly four candidates one for each position. And it certainly did not help when hurtful comments were flying around, some even directed to me and from the people I had the utmost respect for (the word is "had" because the respect is no more); at the same period I was involved in two large monetary transactions, both related to the committee and both resulted in some forms of personal attack on me. Needless to say I was visibly raged; after all the beautiful things that happened, was that how people want to "repay" us? (hate to use this word because I do not expect anything in return as a committee member).
Then once again there was hope. I am not in the position to judge any other candidate, but for my fellow president I have the highest of respect for him. He might not have much to offer at the moment, but he has the willingness to learn and the courage to take on this mountain of a challenge. If you are reading this, I have one word of advice and that is do not try to be someone else, least of all me; you simply cannot and you simply should not. Do not repeat the same mistake as I did; find some comfort in yourself and your team and make this your year.
And I would like everyone to give the 16th committee the same level of support that you have given mine. Road is tough as always; there is this unique challenge of managing a very delicate community with high expectations, and sometimes we need to make hard decisions that do not please everyone (I heard 60 was not a good number). I implore everyone to respect that decision-making process while at the same time question appropriately to keep that quality up.
At the end of the day, we will always get there, because we all do it together, and together we make the difference.