Life after JCR Presidency
Most JCR Presidents will tell you that very quickly into their term the presidency becomes their whole life and I have to admit it certainly became a significant aspect of my personality!
I think at times of stress and struggle in my work, especially with the added pressures of COVID, I allowed the presidency to take over my life a but, a few emails here and there, a meeting or two and suddenly it just took over.
So when I finished up and passed onto my excellent friend Dom, I was at a bit of a loose end. Initially I was just totally exhausted and questions of 'How do you feel now you've finished?' were met with 'Oh I'm so pleased! I can have a rest' and then slowly, after the exhaustion subsided I realised I wasn't sure where to go from there.
I think it's really important to have extra-curriculars at any university but especially at Oxford which is such a high-pressured environment, hobbies that are unrelated from work help to take the edge off and introduce you to other people, colleges, areas of Oxford and interests. I was now without what had been my main extra-curricular activity and I'm someone who loves to be busy and also slightly stressed so I was in need of something to occupy my time.
Drumroll please... And cue student journalism!
I'd already been occasionally contributing to various student papers, but this term I decided to jump in behind the scenes in an editing role and have loved it. It definitely filled up my time (sometimes more than I wouldn't liked) and I enjoyed being part of creating something even if it wasn't a big role.I've also found new ways to occupy my time, especially as COVID has been easing I've enjoyed meeting up with friends at pubs and cafes, going on walks in actually nice, sunny weather, visiting the shops and genuinely having a pleasant social life rather than being stuck inside like a caged animal. This has included finally meeting some of the other JCR presidents who I never got to meet in the flesh when formally in the role. That's been something I really enjoyed - making connections outside the closed walls of Benet's and doing so in s light and silly way.
Probably most importantly I've had time to re-adjust to focusing on work and sort myself out in that respect. Having more time to complete my work has been a god-send. Don't get me wrong, I've still struggled at different points to stay on top of things, and essay extensions have had to be requested but I don't think I could have managed anywhere near as well if I had been taking on a JCR position as well. I think more work-life balance is still very much in need but it's something I'm working on, and I don't think I'd ever give up the extra activities. Sometimes they feel like the only thing keeping me sane!