Amy: Why being a Meet-Up leader is kind of a big deal!
Amy completed a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in accounting, in 2016. She enjoys watching football, playing video games and collecting Pokémon cards.
As a student, in my first semester I took the opportunity to attend and participate in everything USQ offered, including Meet-Up. After all, I'd quit my job to start uni and wanted to do my family proud by using my time well. Not to mention I kept going back because it was awesome to study with other students who, little did I know, would go on to become my best friends.
(no really, we did study... honest!).
Before the start of my second semester, I received a phone call from one of my lecturers (my natural instinct was to panic. Lecturers don't call you at home!) asking me if I would like to become a Meet-Up leader. I had had such a good experience with attending Meet-Up that I couldn't wait to become a leader myself; it was really exciting to be offered such an opportunity.
Hang on minute... What did I just say? Did I say yes to leading a study session in front of other people? People that would look to me for the answers? Oh dear! I totally just did that! I can still remember the panic that set in as soon as I got off the phone. This was WAY outside my comfort zone and I couldn't believe I didn't think it through before I answered. Maybe I should call back and say I couldn’t do it after all?
The thing is though, I never back out of a commitment. It would have been just as hard for me to back out and say I couldn't do it as it would be to get through the first session. So I decided it was time to focus on the positives... Leading a Meet-Up group for four hours a week would help ease my guilt about quitting my job and bring in some pocket money for my family... (I think you're getting it by now, I'm a bit of a worrier).
That was three years ago now and I don't think I have ever looked back. I have grown so much since accepting that phone call and pushing through the nerve wracking first day. It didn't even end up being that scary. Turns out brand new students are more nervous than you are (who would have thought?). I've now led over six course-based Meet–Up groups as well as been a Meet-Up Student Community (MUSC) leader.
I cannot adequately express the experience I have gained from being a Meet-Up leader, but here are a few highlights:
I have gained lifelong friends both from being a leader and a participant at Meet-Up. I'm grateful for meeting and sharing experiences with everyone who's attended Meet-Up sessions with me.
You can't beat the feeling when someone tells you they are glad you told them to hang in there because they finally got that HD. The success is all theirs but you get to enjoy it with them.
I now don't shake at the thought of public speaking... Okay, well maybe a little, but hey, I'm working on it and have come so far in just a few years. I've also learnt it's okay to believe in myself and it's also okay to not have all the answers all the time.
This ties in with my lack of confidence, but I have never seen myself as a leader. I now know I have leadership qualities and have even had an opportunity to speak at a student leadership conference.
- Work experience
Having a job while studying at uni is great to have on your resume when you are seeking graduate positions at the end of your degree.
All in all, I love being a Meet-Up leader and I would urge any student who has the opportunity to participate to take the chance because do you know what? Being a Meet-Up leader is kind of a big deal!