Woodwarder in 4 acts (and counting…)

Act 1 – The casual resident

When I started Imperial, I wanted to focus solely on my studies. I did many “other stuff” in high school, but university is obviously a lot more difficult, so I decided to “stay out of any trouble” and just study-study-study. Well, I managed to do it for a couple of weeks… In the first few weeks, I only applied for the position of the Year Representative, but I didn’t get it, and looking back, I am actually glad. Being a year rep is mainly about arguing with the lecturers to extend a deadline or record the lectures. And I don’t really like arguing… I also applied for being a Student Blogger, and – as you may see – I got this one! I really enjoy writing about things, so this is not a work but more like a hobby for me. So far, it’s not that bad, right? Just writing about my university experiences in my free time, sounds manageable. But then suddenly…

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Act 2 – The hall committee member

It all started with an email from the Wardens. It said:

“If you enjoyed freshers fortnight activities, if you have more ideas for better events, if you wish to improve life in Woodward, if you want to lively participate in the Hall community life… Then, YOU should be a Committee Member

Hall Committee Role and Structure: As part of the rent, every student contributes £2 per week to the hall’s student activities (or amenities) fund. This money is used to subsidise hall events such as those in Welcome Week which you’ve all just enjoyed and events throughout the year. The student activities fund is managed by the Hall Committee. This means The Committee’s responsibilities include planning, budgeting and running hall events, reporting on and discussing all hall activities and issues in as far as they affect residents, acting as representative for your designated group of students and making plans for the following year’s Welcome Week events. The Woodward Hall Committee will consist of 12 student representatives (1 from each area defined by your virtues).”

I highlighted the words which caught me… 😀 I immediately knew that this role was designed for me. Representing students, planning events? Anytime, all the time! So I applied to be the hall committee member of my virtue area, and I was elected! To be honest, I didn’t think about the time and commitment it requires until I was elected because I just didn’t care. I knew I want to do this, I knew I would terribly regret it, if I didn’t apply, so I just applied. And suddenly I found myself sitting on committee meetings every second Sunday, enjoying the ability to make changes, to plan the events, to be “behind the scenes”. That’s what I like, that’s who I am. So why should I fight against it? … Well, my coursework and my grades were not so happy about it… 😀

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Act 3 – The newsletter editor

This one was kind of incidental… I was sitting on one of the first meetings, and the wardens said we should apply for different roles in the committee. Chair, vice chair, treasurer, secretary were the main options. But then one of the wardens just briefly mentioned that “you might also help out with the newsletter, though I don’t know if they need any help”. And that was it. I just had this feeling again, that “I’ll regret if I don’t apply immediately”. I tried the vice chair, too, but it was fairly obvious that I wouldn’t get that. So I just submitted a few lines about why I want to be part of the newsletter team, and the next week I was already doing the first edition. As it turned out, two subwardens were doing the newsletter before, but they mainly focused on the housekeeping news like “don’t leave a mess in the kitchen”. So I came up with a couple of ideas and we slowly started to include them. I’ve always liked reading other people’s stories and there is this amazing page called Humans of New York, so I thought why don’t we do a Humans of Woodward Hall column? This turned out to be so successful that now we have our own Facebook page! My other favourite column is the “Cooking made easy by Dora” which I already wrote about in a previous post. But in general, I love every bit about our newsletter, from editing the texts through making the interviews to seeing the final product in the lifts for two weeks. But why would be being a student blogger / hall committee member / newsletter editor (and just incidentally a first year ChemEng student) enough for me? …

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Act 4 – The hall senior

Well, this one only starts from October, but it required a couple of hours of work already. Due to the limited number of places, Imperial only guarantees accommodation for first year students. The only option to stay in halls is if you become a hall senior (second/third/fourth year student who looks after the freshers and helps running the events). I got an email again…

Hall Seniors are Imperial undergraduate student who loved halls so much that they decided to come back for another year. They are approachable, highly motivated, and hardworking students that voluntarily assist the Wardening Team in helping first year students settle into College life and organising events throughout the year. In return, Hall Seniors can take advantage of excellent living conditions in a fun and challenging social environment, and will gain valuable teamwork, organisational and leadership experience. Successful candidates must be available to move in to Hall at the start of Hall Senior Week, i.e., one week prior to the start of the Autumn Term. Hall Seniors should be prepared to play an active role on the Hall Committee and be present to ensure the smooth running of hall events.

I can’t highlight anything: the whole thing was exciting. So I wrote my personal statement for the position, applied, and waited. Then I got this email:

Congratulations! You have been invited to attend the Woodward Hall interviews for becoming a hall senior next year.

And only two hours after my interview, another email:

Congratulations, Your application to be a hall senior at Woodward hall has been successful!  We would like to extend a warm welcome from the current Wardening and returning Hall Senior team to the halls, and hope you will be able to join us next year for what will be an even bigger, better, more fun packed year here at Woodward.

I am soooo happy! I have so many ideas about next year and so many plans, and I wish it had already been October, I want to move in, I want to help, I want to……… Ahh 😀

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So the story continues, there are still several positions I can apply to… 🙂

4 comments for “Woodwarder in 4 acts (and counting…)

  1. Tamanna says:

    Your blog is awesome! 😀 I’m surprised you manage to write so much – first year of Chem Eng was intense..haha.

    1. Dora says:

      Thanks for your comment 🙂
      First year of ChemEng is still intense, and my problem sheets are not so happy about my blog… But I like writing so I try to find time for it 🙂

  2. Andreea says:

    It’s good though. All this stuff adds so much to your student experience and in the long run help you develop on a personal level. You’ll have stories to tell, skills aquired, samples of work to display; constantly challenging yourself makes you grow, and doesn’t let life become dull. The trick is balance – just make sure you say no when you know other things are clear priorities, keep track of how much you got on your plate, and try to stay on top of work as much as possible. You can’t do a newsletter on week x because you got revision to do (like me 2 weeks ago haha) – that’s fine, Woodward’s not going to fall apart because of it, people are understanding, so just tell 😉

    1. Dora says:

      Haha thank you Andreea <3 (And “submitted at 3:40am” ??? OMG…)

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