I have to admit that I’m a bit of a failure when it comes to extra-curricular activities. There was never really any reason to participate in after school clubs until sixth form when, to my utter disgust, I was forced into taking up AT LEAST two new hobbies so as to boost the credibility of my university applications. I grudgingly became editor of the fortnightly “newspaper” – well, two sides of A4 – and obtained the illustrious title of History Officer, a role which involved copious amounts of pizza and all the chainmail a self-confessed nerd could ever want. All I had to do was turn up to one or two events, put unsuspecting teenagers in the stocks – the Department was well-stocked in all things medieval – and enthusiastically brandish my sword whilst espousing the “joys” of History A-Level to gullible parents. Access to the cheap wine reserved for parents and teachers was, naturally, a bonus.
You see, I’ve never been much of a team player. I was never one of those children that enjoyed playing with others on trampolines or in sandpits. I much preferred the company of tea-drinking adults than that of my snot, blood and food-streaked peers. This distaste for such interaction subsided slightly once I reached junior school, but not for long. A brief interlude spent trying to keep up with the boys as they kicked a miserable looking pair of scrunched up gloves about the playground ended abruptly after I fell over one day, breaking my wrist in the process. Any enthusiasm for team sports that might have remained was extinguished as soon as a particularly nasty, very small boy threw a basketball directly at my face. So I was pretty disillusioned with the concept of group activities by the time I commenced my secondary education.
It’s not that I was an unpopular child, far from it. I just liked to spend my lunchtimes eating my chips – these were the glorious days before Jamie Oliver brought it upon himself to interfere in our children’s eating habits – and my evenings in the local shopping centre with my friends. I never wanted to join the hockey team and was equally set against partaking in the Duke of Edinburgh scheme.
Since university, though, I feel that there has been a resurgence of this pressure to join clubs and societies – the more, the better. Of course, as a fresher it is very tempting to give your e-mail address away to every single club or society in the North East, let alone your college. When bribed with delicious home-baked treats, I am ashamed to admit that I did indeed relent on a few isolated occasions and sign up to join groups as random as German Soc (they seemed friendly and had food!). Inevitably, I never went to any meetings in the course of my first year, and I still receive countless e-mails inviting me to film evenings and trips to Berlin. Considering my perpetual absence, you would have thought that someone would get the message, realise what an unresponsive failure I truly am, and actually take me off the mailing list. Unfortunately for them, they haven’t.
After being confronted, however, with the prospect of a life of “drifting” at my recent careers talk, I have decided to turn over a new leaf. The fear my lecturer instilled in my heart as he warned us not to neglect future career plans has actually motivated me to get out there and become the team player/ enthusiast every large corporation lusts after. Sport was definitely out of the question, as I am ever haunted by the taunting little brat that chucked that ball at my delicate visage a decade ago. A reasonable, “artsy” alternative seemed to be life drawing. All this involves is turning up with some pencils, a sketchbook, and a camera (I should probably insert a disclaimer here as this is a JOKE), and they handle the rest. I just hope this impresses those guys at Deloitte…