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How societies have helped me in the pandemic

Nirthanan Krishnan, Bachelor of Business Leadership and Commerce

Hi there! I’m Nirthanan Krishnan and I am a final year Business Leadership and Commerce student. Looking back, I am so grateful for the experience Macquarie University has given me and how it has shaped who I am today. Now nearing the end of my degree, I wanted to take the chance to whomever would be reading this, to share my experience in hopes that it may help you someway.

The first half of my university experience was nice, but not fun or livid. Apart from the lectures and tutorials, there wasn’t anything that happened in my life outside of classroom. Like, don’t you ever feel a bit lost within yourself sometimes when you walk on campus and you see groups of people talking and laughing? Yet even when you made friends in tutorials, they only lasted the semester and would only message you to help with their assignments or what articles to use in an essay (some maybe even tried to get you to do the work in group projects!). I longed that experience of feeling good about my social life and was thinking to myself, why I couldn’t experience that? What was I not doing that prevented me from that? I started to doubt myself a lot and as a person, thinking there was something wrong with me, like I was not someone to hang out with or I was doing something wrong? The pandemic also heightened this uncertainty removing the connection of face to face to online and texting people was in a way, comfortable but the communication wasn’t authentic. However, in late 2020 this changed when I decided to take that step and join student societies.

For context, back in high school, I did Drama and Music. I was obsessed with both, but after high school the absence of both weakened my creative spirit. Joining student societies was the best decision I have made for sure. First, I joined MQMUSO, I remember I attended their Open Mic Night in 2020 Session 2 and I really loved the confidence and atmosphere of all the students who just went up there and took their chance to have fun! I knew a few friends in the society who were genuinely amazing people and they encouraged me to go for an executive role (to have more of the society experience) and I accepted it as a General Admin for 2021. Christmas time in 2020 came and out of the blue on Instagram (midway through moving houses) an audition notice came from MacMS for their student-written musical Worlds Away. I was hesitant at first thinking I was not good enough and I may not look the part. However, I just decided to randomly take a leap of faith, and after a successful video audition, I got in. I was truly surprised and so humbled!

In my first rehearsal, everyone was so welcoming and really nice and I was not used to it! We had a quick dinner at Macquarie Centre which I have never done with people before- then one of the cast members (a great friend too) encouraged me to audition for the Dramac’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. I agreed and a week later I was casted as Flute and Mustardseed! Just within a matter of months my life changed drastically, I was suddenly helping organise Jam sessions and Open Mic Nights with MQMUSO, and attending rehearsals for shows with MacMS and Dramac. As well as this, I have even performed on my birthday on stage for Lord of the Flies! Dreams do indeed come true.

Through these societies, not only did I make so many friends and got to be inspired by so many walks of life: I made genuinely great and loyal friends who I am able to talk to 24/7 and made me feel appreciated. I did not feel ashamed of who I am. This was the kickstart to my social life and the next two years of my university experience were the best! Now I am the Secretary for MacMS, and the Publicity Officer for MQMUSO and Dramac. With all that I have been able to also balance 4 units every semester. Even my friends and I are hanging out every week or so!

Thus, I would like to finish off with a really special saying a friend of mines told me: “Every once in a while, make sure you smell the roses.”. It is really important to embrace today as well as thinking about tomorrow, because we only live once. Take that leap of faith, put your hand up for the opportunity you were dying for, break the ice and make a new friend in your tutorial, even audition for an upcoming show from our theatrical societies, because you know what exciting opportunity is waiting for you on the other side!


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