When I first joined UCSI, the worst thing I could imagine doing was joining a club. The first thing that I knew I would loathe was the meetings. Why even have meetings anymore?
Everyone has WhatsApp now, just discuss everything online. Wouldn’t save everyone the trouble of meeting up and going through the same things for hours? Next, the time I’d have to spend on the many, many club activities that I would have to attend, time that could be used for anything, literally anything else. Now that I’ve explained my disdain of joining clubs, let me explain how I ended up joining a club and actually really enjoyed it.
Everyone knows that during your one year of study in Foundation at UCSI, students are not required to join any clubs as they do not have to collect ELE points. So during my foundation year, I did not join any clubs, because there wasn’t a reason to join one.
All my friends were joining clubs though, making new friends, learning new things, but it just was not something that interested me. I was more interested in going home and sleeping.
In the next year, my first year in degree came along and the ELE points requirement was looming over my head. A hundred points? How am I supposed to collect a hundred points in a year? I did my best calculations and came to the conclusion that because there would be a great number of activities throughout the year, and if each activity gave at least 10 to 15 points to each participant, I would only need to go for about 10 events a year to complete the points requirement and I would still not have to join a club. And I was right. It only took me one semester to fulfil the points requirement and I was happy.
During the last semester of my first year, my friend who was the president of the Peer Counseling Club was pulling out her hair trying to find new members for her club, as it was the last day to submit the list of committee members for clubs.
Noticing that I hadn’t joined a club, she asks me to join her club to which I replied with a “No thank you”. She then started explaining to me how it was the last day to submit her committee list and somehow she persuaded me to join her club as a logistics director. I’ll admit it, I was expecting a lot of extra work on my plate, added stress on my already large workload, plus MEETINGS. But I’m glad I was wrong.
The first activity that I facilitated was a hiking trip to ‘Bukit Apek’ in Cheras, which is around 10 minutes away from UCSI’s South Wing Campus.
The planning of the activity didn’t take as much of a toll on my schedule as I thought it would. In fact, the meetings were actually very insightful and helpful. I’d already taken back my statement about meetings after that first meeting. After a month or two of planning, the activity finally took place. All the students met at UCSI in the morning, and soon we all departed to our destination.
The actual hiking was momentarily delayed as there was some confusion as to where the start of the hike was, but was sorted out in no time. Initially, the hike looked like it was going to be a tiring one, as the first major obstacle was a very steep incline, with only one rope at the right-hand side of the pathway to pull yourself up while walking up a muddy, slippery walkway. After that, the journey was quite enjoyable. Just trekking through a jungle can be very relaxing if you think about it, hearing the birds chirping, taking in the scenery and enjoying nature. But there was always some random animal noises coming from the distance, in the bushes which startled everyone a little.
The theme of this activity was ‘Brighten Someone’s Day’. We were to meet new people and give them gifts and small papers with kind words written on them to brighten their day. So, every time we passed someone, a packet of biscuits and a kind word paper would be given to them. Let me tell you, the smile on their faces made it all worth it. The original plan was to hike all the way to the top and to see the waterfall.
Sadly, that never happened because we did not know that a guide was needed if we wanted to see the waterfall as the journey there would be very hard. Instead, we found a large opening and set up there. People passing by us would receive the gifts and tell us stories about their hike. We played games at the open space we were at, took pictures of the scenery, and even got to observe a big family of monkeys swinging through the trees. The heat soon grew to its peak and we decided it was time to end our hike.
People think hiking up is the hard part, but in reality, hiking down is harder. The endless efforts of trying not to fall forward every time we take a step were the most tiring part. As we made out way down, the feeling of satisfaction from adding a little happiness in other peoples lives as well as the exercise was worth all the effort the club put in.
Soon, it was my turn to chair an event. From a person who never wanted to join a club to an organizing chairperson of an event – how ironic.
My first event was the Induction Day for new members. This event was a relatively simple one to plan as there was not much planning to do other than what food to buy.
On the day of the event, the weather took a turn for the worst, rain poured down right as we were about to buy the food for the event. Despite the heavy downpour, the committee of the event was determined to make it a success.
They braved the rain, acquired everything that was needed and came through. As the rain was getting heavier by the minute, the committee anxiously waited to see if any new members would show up. To our surprise, almost all of them came.
After everyone arrived, the activities took place. A short introduction about the club and its committee members was done. Next, we got to know the new members by playing ice-breaking games which were really fun. One game was done by arranging everyone in a circle, and then one person in the middle. Whoever is in the middle must say someone’s name and proceed to hit them with a plastic bottle and whoever gets hit must then go in the middle and do the same thing.
This game made it really easy for everyone to remember each other’s names. Lastly, the food, which was fried chicken from McDonald’s, and pizza from Pizza Hut, was served. Everyone enjoyed themselves, according to their answers when we asked them, which they answered unconvincingly but we took it as shyness.
At the end of the event, many of the new members were very eager to know more about the club and to join future activities.
If you’re interested to join the Peer Counselling Club, check out our instagram page @ucsi.pcc.hyho