When starting university, I, like many of us, rolled my eyes at the countless number of people who told me to “get involved” during my time there. This advice – to join a club, for instance, was something I never really took seriously. I saw all the clubs in the UC during O-week and got all the emails, but balancing school and a social life is hard enough, right? Why add something else into the mix?!
It wasn’t until my second year, when my future Co-President asked me to join DECA U Guelph with her that I decided to see what it was all about. Little did I know that this decision would help define the rest of my time here at Guelph!
Going to the first training sessions was scary and (I have to admit) I almost backed out! It can be intimidating, walking into a room full of older students you don’t know, and having to present your case analysis. I mean, who would deliberately choose to present anything…like ever? However we survived our first training session, and although our presentation was choppy and scattered, I was thoroughly proud to have done one. By our fifth training session, I was starting to enjoy myself. We took pride in our presentations and our feedback. I also noticed a difference in my own confidence; I wasn’t as nervous to present, we started to think outside of the box and take new risks. Once we had finished our 10th training session we were ready for provincials (Yes at that time it was 10 training sessions so everyone has lucked out for this upcoming year).
Provincials…what is all the hype about? Although it had been described as a “weekend full of fun in Toronto” I was a bit skeptical; after all we were going for a business case competition, how much actual fun could we actually have? Looking back I cannot believe I almost didn’t go. It was definitely a weekend to remember and is an all-time favourite weekend of my undergrad career. We returned to the bus tired, but extremely proud, and with a lot more friends than we had arrived with.
DECA will always mean so much to me, it has given me some of the best friends I have ever had, confidence in myself as well as a sense of community. Graduating next year, my mind is now turning to the world of work and I am grateful for the crash course DECA provided in skills, such as public speaking, analytical and time management skills.
Joining one club, or going to one meeting just to check it out can really have a domino effect on your life. If someone had told me four years ago that I would not only be a part of DECA but be Co-President, I never would have believed them.
So I’ll repeat what you’ve heard a thousand times before but which is very true: It is so important during your academic career to get involved! You have no idea the places it can take you. To those thinking of joining, push yourself to come to at least one event and see what a great opportunity it is. And to those who have already been a part of DECA, well, you already know how fun it is, so I will see you all next year!
DECA U Guelph Co-President