In a rather abstract way, I became Hall senior for my year abroad. After the previously-selected senior jumped off for private reasons, I was asked by the subwarden whether I could be up for the job. Since I always like to organize things and had some leadership experience, I thought to myself: why not. The following things are an excerpt of the things I’ve learned during many many events throughout the year.
People seldom thank you for the organization
Somehow organization has always been there, everything seems to run by itself, everything seems to fit together by magical forces. But no, behind these magical powers are people doing the work, sometimes less, sometimes more. Booking rooms, designing banners, but also the purchase of drinks and food does not organize itself. In the end, some people come up to you and thank you for organizing, however, many take it for granted and probably just do not have it in their consciousness.
Imperial provides a lot of money for the Halls
I don’t know exactly how the funds are allocated and how things look in other halls of residence. However, for the 46 students at Parsons House there was definitely more than enough money. Hence, we could strongly subsidize various trips and events during the year (Oxford trips, Pizza nights etc.). The committee meetings were very helpful in getting an idea of what the students consider relaxed leisure activities. These meetings were almost always sweetened with free donuts and/or free pizza!
Sometimes it burns
Duty is duty, even if you have a lot to do, you have to commit to the things with which you have gotten involved. Most of the time, however, it is also a welcome diversion. I remember organizing the Spring Term closing party with a strong deadline the next day. As is the case with deadlines, it can happen that the time immediately before is experienced more intensively than usual(:D). At the beginning I was disturbed by the party organization, but once I was there and chatting and playing with the people, it was a complete success, where I could also really relax! Therefore, I willingly got up 2 hours earlier the next day.
Communication is key
At Imperial College, various cultures with their social and individualistic character structures meet. What you take for granted is not always for others and vice versa. It is therefore important to be aware of the normal natural differences and to always seek the dialogue. Assuming that misunderstandings are the rule rather than the exception has also helped me well.
In the end, the experience was definitely worthwhile and the teamwork was mostly enjoyable. The weekly breakfast turned out to be amusing and tasty (of course you always have to pre-taste! :D) and I was able to significantly improve my pancake mass production kills, maybe I should write this in my CV. ;-P
All the best,