by Rtr. Theruni Liyanage
Rtr. PP Atarah Senn says the best thing about her Rotaract journey was everything about it. The teamwork, exposure to new experiences and people, plus all the challenges along the way have helped her improve herself, she believes.
Atarah, after graduating, worked at a private research organization in Colombo focusing on issues such as poverty, labour migration and social cohesion which opened up the avenue for her to pursue her higher studies in International Development. We questioned her about her experiences in the Rotaract club of UOCFOA.
No long-term plans, her approach when she first joined the university was to take one step at a time. Going with the flow, she joined Rotaract and gave it her best. Atarah says the benefits of being a Rotaractor is that it gives you the opportunity to make yourself better professionally (handling and chairing projects) and socially (creating networks and building self-esteem and confidence).
She advises prospective new Rotaractors to try and get involved in as many projects as possible. Since Rotaract creates the space for teamwork, it will also consist of many obstacles in its path as everyone has different viewpoints. She explains learning how to manage such situations, and working together with people from across the country only adds to the experience.
“People are extremely competitive, and can push you around if you are not strong enough. Like all organizations, there is a certain level of politics that play out within the movement – it doesn’t really affect you, but it helps to be aware of it!”
As an old undergraduate who had gone through it all, Atarah understands the struggle and is also full of wisdom on how to juggle Rotaract work alongside uni-life. “If there is a particular sport, project or event that you like – give it your all. But if you feel Rotaract is taking up a lot of your time and is getting in the way, take a step back and only do what you can or want to”, good advice we feel, as both our own priorities and the movement could suffer from our lack of balance.
As she reflects back on her Rotaract journey, she recalls the moments when the entire club would come to work together to achieve a common target as her favorites in the journey. All the up and downs in her Rotaract journey were exactly as they should be and she wouldn’t change a thing, says Atarah.
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