Last Thursday, I attended the BICS (The Board of Irish College Societies) Awards 2015 as part of a large group from my very own college, IT Tralee. It was, quite simply, one of the best experiences I’ve had in college so far. We met so many amazing people from other colleges and learned so much from them. It was kinda surreal to see so many people in one place just for their love of societies. Every single person at the BICS was there because they loved their society and had put so much work into it to make it great.
In my opinion, college societies are the best things about college. I am a member of several societies, however I am most active in our Radio Society and the TV, Film, Photography Society, of which I am the treasurer. These two societies have been my favourite thing about my college experience, and the people in these societies have helped me in ways that they may never truly understand. We are like a small, close-knit family, rather than just a group of college students. Walking into the radio studio in college feels like another home, because there’s always going to be friends waiting, someone yelling at you for a music request or take part in a new segment of their radio show, and of course, someone battling with a computer so overloaded with college work that it can’t even run some of the programs. Our chairpeople, the amazing Tadhg and Ivan, have put so much hard work into the studio since taking it over. We’re only a small station, but we’re getting bigger. We’re going to get online. Mark my words, Bang FM is coming for you BICS 2016!! Like us on Facebook to keep up to date!
TV Film and Photography Society is another one which feels like home. We run biweekly film screenings. We get pizza. We analyse the films and mess around and enjoy ourselves and it’s so much fun. We run short film competitions where we present contestants with a line of dialogue and a prop and tell them to make a film. We’ve received bizarre films, great films, and some downright hilarious films. Mostly, it’s a bit of craic while you get to use the cameras and equipment and get a bit of experience – where can you go wrong? (Anyone interested in having a look, you can check out our youtube or like us on Facebook!)
My college experience has been what it is because I joined a society. I have met people from other courses who I would never have met otherwise, made amazing friends, and done things I never would have been given the opportunity to do otherwise. I run my own radio show, every single week, with my friends. I stood up in front of students from across Ireland and spoke proudly about an event I helped organise and run, which was nominated for an national award. I helped to actually organise a big event which was amazing, and we received such positive feedback from people. We didn’t win, but I wouldn’t change anything. (Alright, it would have been nice to win). But our competition was so amazing, that even losing didn’t feel like a real loss, because we got so many great ideas for next year.
Myself and my friends put weeks of hard work into getting to BICS, and despite not winning, it was worth it to just get there. I was completely blown away by the enthusiasm of other societies, who had done such amazing things. Letterkenny IT organised an amazing Fashion Show to highlight the LGBT presence in Letterkenny. IT Tallaght organised a radio week where they had a 33 hour broadcast, sleeping in the studio and enduring an overpowering stench of sweat from an exercise bike which was constantly in use. The winners of Best Event in a Small College, CIT, organised a musical and promoted it with flashmobs throughout Cork city. I came away from BICS with a renewed sense of enthusiasm and excitement for both Radio and TV Film and Photography Society, and I’m already so excited to get cracking with organising things for next semester. I may be on work experience for BICS 2016, but rest assured, I’m going to try my very best to get there!! Congratulations to every single person who went to BICS, because even getting there meant you won something in your own college.
If you take one thing from this blog post: join a college society. Any of them. Find a new hobby, meet others with similar interests, make friends, and do things you never even thought of doing. Your college experience won’t last forever, which is something I’m coming to terms with now as I approach the end of my 2nd year. They’ve absolutely flown and I’m now halfway to a degree. Go to BICS. It only lasted one day, but I can honestly say that it was one of the highlights of my entire time in college.
Join a society. Get involved. I promise, you won’t regret it.
Until next time,