March 17, 2017
Hi! My name is Caitlin, I’m one of the mechanical leads for the junior Chem-E Car (CEC) team. I’m also the president of UBC Dance Horizons, part of a dance team, and helping to plan a case competition for the Oil and Gas initiative, on top of taking 7 courses. A question I get a lot is “How are you not dying?”. So here is my take on how to do all the things you love and not die.
“The Physics of Dance.” The Physics of Dance. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Feb. 2017.
On that note, I think it’s helpful to participate in extracurricular activities you find enjoyable. Of course working on a project that contributes to your resume doesn’t hurt, but finding the motivation to be fully involved might be difficult if you are completely uninterested. Within CEC, I joined the mechanical team, even though I’m studying Chemical Engineering, because I enjoy working with my hands and being able to physically create something. Our team has a range of interdisciplinary sub-teams and there are many students working on teams that don’t directly fall into their major. I find that everyone really enjoys the component of the car they work on and that’s what makes CEC such positive environment.
All the exciting things I find myself achieving are a result of a group effort. Our CEC Mechanical Sub-team involves six of us, working with a full team of about 30 people. My Dance Horizons team involves 20 executives. These groups wouldn’t be able to function without a team of people working together towards a common goal, whether that’s building a shoe-box sized car, or organizing a performance with over 300 attendees. Though working with others can sometimes be frustrating, there are great ideas collaborative thinking can bring and the pace at which a projects can be completed couldn’t be matched on ones own.
Furthermore, I think it’s important to listen to suggestions, accept help when it’s offered, and communicate with your team. There are so many people around with great background knowledge and expertise and their opinions and ideas can make all the difference (Shout out to the senior CEC team and the mech-lead Kyle!). With so many things going on, sometimes you have a midterm coming up and you really do not have time to spare in the workshop. We’re all stressed out students, and if you communicate with your team, they will understand.
The Chem-E Car 2016 Team
Whatever you find works, go with that. Whether it’s google calendar, an EUS Handbook, or even your phone I think that writing everything down can be extremely helpful. Especially now with trying to find a job, I like to write down application closing dates so I don’t miss any exciting opportunities. And of course, having your schedule on hand helps in making plans with friends.
Take a breather, everything will work out! That’s what I tell myself. Every time something doesn’t work out, it’s a learning opportunity. Take pride in what you have accomplished and continue to work hard on the things you love.