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As the yearly society committee elections come around again, it feels weird to look back on my year on Exeposé committee. When I ran for Print Lifestyle Editor last year, I definitely underestimated the impact this role would have on my overall experience. Being on a committee has not only provided me with valuable knowledge for my future career, but has also enriched my university experience as a whole.

Without a doubt, being on a committee has allowed me to meet a variety of wonderful new people who have quickly become close friends. Not only have I met people who study various degrees, but I have also been exposed to new opinions and personalities. Whilst university is predominantly about getting a degree, your experience shouldn’t be wholly defined by your academics. The access to such a diverse range of societies and people is what makes the opportunity of attending university such a privilege; not only are we exposed to world-class research, but a variety of peers who have the ability to challenge and shape the way we see the world.

It is also very healthy to have a project separate from the stress of your degree. As a third year, I have found that being on committee has been more of an escape than an extra source of stress. Whilst it can sometimes be a challenge to juggle multiple commitments, having that time to focus on something that’s not related to your academics can help you to return to your work refreshed and refocused. I know that, for me, having press days can give me a chance to catch my breath, as being surrounded by my friends whilst working on a page can take my mind off whatever may be stressing me that week. Your degree work doesn’t have to define your university experience, and making time for activities you enjoy is so important for your overall well-being.

The access to such a diverse range of societies and people is what makes the opportunity of attending university such a privilege

Importantly, being on a committee can provide you with a well-needed CV boost. Of course, being a social secretary won’t look as impressive as a 10-week internship, but it all plays a part when you’re presenting yourself to a potential employer. By taking on a position of responsibility and working as a part of a team, you’ll have proved some fundamental skills required for post-graduate employment. Although graduation may seem like a distant event, getting some experience whilst you’re studying is never a bad idea.

Finally, being on a committee can help you to feel more confident and secure at university. After struggling with my mental health at the end of second year, being elected to a committee position has really helped me to find my feet on campus and made the transition into third year so much easier. Being able to learn new skills and take part in something I am passionate about has allowed me to learn more about myself and what I want to do in the future (cheesy but true). It may have been difficult to build up the courage to run in the first place, but the reward has greatly outweighed the initial stress.

Without a doubt if you’re considering running for a position, I would highly encourage you to do so. Even if you don’t end up being elected, running in an AGM and giving a speech are key skills which can really help to boost your confidence. University is all about getting to know yourself and your interests, and running for a committee role can be one of the best ways to do this. I know that the concept of running can be an intimidating one at first, but in the end, you’ll discover it wasn’t as bad as you thought it would be, and you may even end up enjoying it!

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