As far as I can remember, I’ve always been a social potato. Meeting new people, talking to them about what their views on various subject categories are, has been something I’ve been doing ever since a four year old me, explained her entire life-story to another four year old at a vegetable market.
Trust me. It made me feel lighter than a helium filled balloon.
Don’t get me wrong though-It’s just to make the other human feel like they can relate.
It’s also because I talk a lot, but lets just stick to the first explanation.
So, naturally, as I realized my interest for various extra curricular activities, including debating and MUN-ing. To this end I tried to attend as many events as my tolerance for my family’s taaneys would allow me to-until, one event that I looked forward to the most, made my stomach drop down faster than it did when my dad didn’t follow me back on Instagram.
And here’s what I’ve concluded from that one “prestigious” event:
1. Don’t trust anyone’s word
So, met a new girl who loves your dress and wants to help you with the research?
I’m not suggesting to judge her off of that one thing, but as far as experience goes, the level of “competition” at these events is killer and hence requires one to be careful with who they ask help from.
And trust me, most people forget what balance is when it comes to awards.
2. What boundaries?
I remember my mum reminding me to be careful every morning as I left for the event. I had my friends there and knew all the safe zones.
“What could possibly go wrong at an event like this?”
Here’s to everyone and anyone out there who’s going to run an event in the future:
If you find out that someone from the crowd has been blamed for harassment, please stop assuming the girl had something to do with it first, just because of the age gap between the victim and the blamed.
Someone who harasses, does not have a specified age.
And to all the people out there who think of turning to the management in case something like this happens- don’t. Just take your shoe off and start hitting the potatoes out of him/her.
3. Define “Talent”
A friend of mine and I sat down and talked about this one in particular.
Today, most events are hyped about on the basis of the social events they’ll have. I mean, who cares about sportsmanship or talking about world peace when you’ll have a whole night filled with dancing, singing and socializing?
This paves way for biased behavior and demoralizes delegates.
The major emphasis on these events is always put on the additional incentives students will get , which makes the whole thing more about the socials and not the talent, or the process of debating or MUN-ing.
4. Be “Yourself”
In realistic terms, this means “Be the version everyone present in the room is going to like”. But despite that, I feel like when you ignore the hidden message behind it- it’s the best thing you could ever do.
For this event in particular, I knew I would meet a ton of different people from all over Lahore. Which is why I wanted people to remember me for who I am- which was not easy at all.
I would go into details, but in a nut shell, even though it’ll hurt when you’re singled out because you have a different accent, color, or anything that makes you stand out, own it.
5. Good people do exist
If there’s one good thing I’ve gained from this event, then that would be the friends I’ve made. And I’m not talking about those “forget about you until the next event comes around” kind of friends, but actual friends that support you when a guy harasses you.
And the management doesn’t do poop about it.
Not only did these amazing people have my back the entire time, but cheered me on when I failed, and stood up against the rigged system.
Now if that isn’t a happy ending, then I don’t know what is.
Have you experienced something similar during university events? Let us know in the comments section.