A slow exec-ution: be wary of committ(ee)ing

Committee life can ruin your passion if you aren’t careful

“Thou shalt not become the social secretary of the committee of their greatest passion.”

In the Cambridge Bible, this would be roughly Commandment Six (after One, “Thou shall have no other Gods than Medwards Brunch,” and Two-Five just list bike repair shops).

Of course there are amazing committees which can be so much fun, great experience, and will mean you’re surrounded by wonderful people. But be careful of jumping onto the committee ship too fast.

Here’s why.

As the by-vice-pre-under-secretary, I can’t be having this (screenshot via Camfess)

Doing is not managing.

So you love…doodling. (I cannot tell you the sheer length of time it took me to think of a theoretical society that Cambridge doesn’t already have. You lot need to calm down)

You’ve been to a few Doodle Soc socials, you’ve met the Doodlers. That’s how they introduced themselves, you think it’s a bit cringe but you go with the flow.

You see that Doodle Soc is looking (quite desperately) for a treasurer! What a great way to get doodling, commit a little more, and get an input in the kinds of things Doodle Soc is running.

Lies! All of it! While you’re certainly more involved in Doodle Soc than you previously were, your contribution to the events is now spreadsheet-based, no felt tips in sight. While this can bring value to your life in a different way, committee-ing is not the best way to do more of what you joined the society for in the first place.

All those unexpected tasks – day one for us was a big clear-out (photo credit: Ruby Cline)

In too deep.

You thought “Doodlers” was cringe, but now you’re one of them. You’ve committeed now and a united front is needed.

Your Instagram bio has become “Have a doodle-y day!” and a Linktree of four different doodle-related blog posts. Still better than your previous bio which read “Cambridge ’24” and four emoji flags of the places you went on your gap yahh, but it’s not much of an improvement.

As the committee infiltrates your to-do list, it also infiltrates your brain space. You can’t write half an essay without first sending six emails about potential bands performing at your zine-open-mic-karaoke-performance-art-workshop-swap-social.

A legitimate email line I had to send (screenshot via Outlook)

A walking, talking advert

“You should come to our social!” you find yourself saying to the victims of your Sidney bar tipsiness.

“It’s so chill. And you’ll meet great people!”

With the abundance of societies and overwhelming volume of things to do in this city, there’s no question that societies vie for the attention of anyone who will listen.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to share your passion, but after the fourth Facebook profile photo change in two weeks to make TOTALLY sure everyone who clicks on your profile knows about your zine-making-karaoke-sports-dance-open-day, you might be questioning what you’re actually doing.

But everyone else on your committee is doing it too. So it can’t be that to everyone you know and love…right?

That being said…

There are so many reasons to join committees, and I don’t mean to put you off with the possibility of admin and potential Facebook embarrassment.

If you’re passionate about something it’s a great way to understand more about how that society is run, and what its values are! It can be great experience and of course, it can look great on a CV.

Joining a committee guarantees you to be part of a team who are passionate about similar things to you. I’ve certainly made amazing friends from my committees and leadership teams.

Our wonderful Tab team from last term – an example of a wonderful committee! (image credit: Ruby Cline)

I simply want to offer a word of warning, particularly to freshers who may be easily seduced by infographics about the responsibilities of a Doodle Soc Treasurer.

Remember that societies are here so that you can do what you love – not to be an extra responsibility on the to-do list!

(feature image credits: Ruby Cline)


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