Rebecca Joy Novell

The creation of a charity, from the very beginning.

Welcome To Hell

On a daily basis, there are three things that will generally keep me happy, or at the very least, keep me from moaning incessantly. These three things are:

1. A good night’s sleep

2. Phone signal

3. Not being subjected to the music of Abba

I was recently elected as the Charity and Volunteering Representative for a group of 4,000 students at my University. I decided to run for the position, not only to raise money for various charities that I am passionate about, but also to encourage others to look at careers in charity and become involved in volunteering. The post lasts for one year and I am hoping it will seriously challenge me on numerous levels and ultimately help me on my (long) path to my end goal of running a successful charity. Nothing, however, could have prepared me for the challenge I would face in the first week of my job. 

The group of elected Representatives were treated to a weekend away in the Peak District for some “fun” outdoor team-building exercises and initial training. On the Saturday morning, I excitedly packed my cobweb covered trainers and most ridiculous winter hat. I positively skipped to the coach for 8am. I enthusiastically introduced myself to all my new colleagues. The sun was shining. Life was great.

How naive I was. One hour in to the coach journey, I went to check Twitter (as I obsessively do) and the worst had happened. There was no signal. Of course, I waited patiently for it to return and continuously tried the very scientific technique of holding it high above your head, but after three minutes I rushed to the front of the couch to speak to the co-ordinator. ‘Excuse me. I don’t want to panic anyone but there appears to be no signal here’. The co-ordinator casually replied, ‘No, you won’t be able to get any all weekend’. And all at once, as if in a film, the heaven’s parted and torrential rain covered the land. (That didn’t happen, but I feel my blogs have been lacking in pathetic fallacy).

Admittedly, there are many, many, things that are more important in life, but this is my sickness. I spent the rest of the day in a stunned silence, contributing nothing to the team building exercises. In fact, a man almost drowned due to my ineffectiveness during a raft-building exercise… but that’s another story for another day.

I decided the only way to salvage the weekend would be to go to bed. I made my excuses and went to my dorm at 7pm. Some may say this is overly dramatic, but those who know me would say this is a calm reaction from me. So, I lay there silently untill 11pm when I drifted to sleep. The hell was over.

Wrong again. At 1am I was awoken by a terrifying sound. It must be a nightmare, I thought to myself. Wake up! This is just a bad nightmare. The sound I could hear, was coming from the room directly beneath me. The rest of the group had decided… oh my, it’s almost too hard to type… to play Abba Karaoke. There are few things in this life more disturbing than hearing a grown man squeeze every last drop of energy, vocal cord and self-respect in to hitting the top notes of Waterloo.

This lasted till 6am. I still haven’t recovered.

For any students, who are currently struggling in their search to find the right career path, suitable job or relevant experience, tapping in to your University resources is one of the best places to start. There are so many societies and opportunities to develop work experience and skills and I could not recommend it more, especially in the current job climate. Make sure you drain every last penny from your Uni- you’ve paid enough! The moral of this story, however, is that not every day’s a dream. But until you get the feeling that the end result is simply not worth the current hassle (a feeling that I came very close to at the repeat performance of Mamma Mia) then you just have to get on with it. And remind yourself that tomorrow, I won’t have to listen to Abba.

Novs x

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This entry was posted on 09/12/2011 by in The Beginning.

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