Monday, August 1, 2011

My Post-Eusoff Orientation Rant

Eusoff Hall Orientation finally came to an end on Saturday and to be honest, although part of me feels glad that I don't have to wake up early, write proposals or shoulder an enormous responsibility anymore, a bigger part of me feels sad because in a way, being part of the orientation committee has been a fun and exciting experience.

I still remember when Nisha asked me to be her co-director for EHOC Programmes one year ago, I said yes without much hesitation because I thought it would be very fun to be someone who is important for once and I thought being the orientation head was the best way to get to know female freshies (seriously) and I wanted to prove both to myself and others that for all my lameness and talk, I could actually do something. Besides, I thought, how hard could planning an orientation get? All you have to do is just think of a few games for the freshmen right?

In short, when I said yes to being the co-director of the orientation committee, I wasn't one bit serious at all. I was thinking more of having fun, being important rather than really being responsible. But still, I was then officially the EHOC Programmes co-head. Little did I know how much responsibility,work and expectations that came with the title.

You see, I am no leader material. The word "slack" is written in my genes, I am more of an introvert (meaning that I never speak until spoken to)  and I am ultra-sensitive. I get intimidated by the smallest of things, I have almost no charisma and I have a very short attention span. When I became the head, all I have was a vision to make the orientation a best one ever, one that is done because we want the freshies to really bond and mix in, not just one that is done because we have to do it. That's all I have. I have no idea how to achieve it and no sense of direction that I should follow.

Despite all the negativity, I made a promise to myself that no matter how hard the planning and work gets, I will not give up and distance myself like what I did last year during orientation and to see orientation through the very end.

When Nisha finally confirmed the list of programmers to me, I was skeptical and doubtful.Thanks to a few rumors and gossips that was going around Eusoff (we have a vibrant gossip culture here) I wondered whether we would be able to work efficiently as a team to achieve our objective and whether we can pull off something as big as orientation. But I was proven wrong in all my doubts and skepticism because the bunch of programmers that I work with this year is one of the best group of people that I ever work with.

In a way, all of us complimented each other. None of us were perfect but in areas we lack, another programmer was good in it. Each of us have our own strengths, our own specialty that added to the strength of our team.

To Nisha, my boss and co-director, thanks for everything. Really, everything. Thanks for putting the trust in me when you chose me to be your co-director. Thanks for encouraging me all the way and scolding me whenever I started to feel emo or have any self doubt. Thanks for keeping the team together and being the front figure for programmes. Thanks for the budget, the T-shirts, the food and a whole load of other things that I did not manage to touch. Thanks for all the sleepless nights that you had to endure to ensure that everything goes on smoothly. I know it has not been easy for you, there were times where we're close to breakdown but in the end, we made it through. We fucking made it through. And it was awesome, despite all the worst case scenarios that we had imagined. To be honest, there is no other person that I would have to be my boss other than you. Thanks.

To Jon Ng, thanks for being such an awesome chief programmer. One that is even more awesome than me and Nisha combined. Thanks for worrying about all the meticulous details like the games matrix, the schedule for OGL camp, exposure camp and orientation and the allocation of freshies into group when me and Nisha are busy worrying about other stuff. Thanks for making sure that no detail is left untouched and thanks for making sure that everything goes according to plan. You're one awesome chief programmer, leader and friend.

To the rest of the programmers, thanks for sticking with us til the very end of orientation and giving your full support to the EHOC Programmes team. I wanna thank Karan for the hard work you've put into the designs to ensure that they turn out nice and for all the shit involved with the supplier, Jojo for ensuring that we have sufficient logistics support and for station games, Syak for the financial support in terms of the receipts and budget, for planning the pool games and also for being the minah of the group. Not forgetting Mu for the storyline, script and also all the work and liaising involved with the OGLs, Victor for the pizzas, icebreakers and for arranging the performance for the final night, Joan and Eve for helping out with the acting and the funny times you all gave us (like throwing of the slippers), Lixuan and Joan for the treasure hunt and night sports proposal, Joy for helping out with the designs and the crazy ideas involved with station games, Vivian for the station games proposal, Isa for the pool games proposal, Ivan for ensuring that war games goes on smoothly, Jason for the Eusoff Challenge and lastly Ryan for helping out wherever you can despite your busy schedule.

To Kenny and Bryan, thanks for all the awesome speeches you gave to the freshies and thanks for supporting us throughout orientation, including being an OGL for the orientation week.

To the OGLs, thanks for signing up to help for the orientation. Thanks for stepping in whenever we programmers needed help during the orientation, like the second day when it rained heavily and the activities had to be stopped. Thanks for bonding the freshies and giving them a great headstart in Eusoff.

And finally to the freshies, thanks for being such a great bunch of freshies. Seeing how all of you enjoyed yourselves during the orientation and how much fun you all had, that was the reason I joined programmes back. And you guys did not make me regret my decision. I hope that the fun you all had, the bond that you all shared during orientation would not stop at orientation but keep on progressing through the years that you will have at Eusoff.

In short, the past three months as been a great experience for me. It was the first time I had such a big responsibility on my shoulders and it was definitely a great learning experience. Along the way, I learned a lot of things about managing people, planning events, dealing with people, writing proposals and also I came to understand a little bit about myself too.

There was a time when I asked myself that whether sacrificing my holidays to be involved was really worth it and whether I should be doing something else instead like spending time at home or taking up an internship. But as I stood there on the final day, looking at the happy faces of the freshies, cheering together with my fellow programmers, I knew I hadn't made a mistake.

I think I will forever remember this experience as one of the best I ever had in my life. It was three months time well spent. A great big thanks again to all who made it possible.

EHOC 2011 Programmers (half of us are here, actually)

Being part of the cheer during pool games

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