Joining a club, especially a large one like WIB, can be intimidating under normal circumstances. Virtually, it can be even more intimidating. To give you comfort during a potentially stressful time, here is some advice from our Executive President Paige Goulden and our VP of Member Development Sonel Rubenstein.
Sonel Rubenstein, VP of Member Development
What did you like most about going to WIB events in person?
Besides the delicious food, WIB events were always a time for me to relax. As we had events almost every week, there was always something to do. It’s important to have breaks in your schedule, and WIB events were that break for me. No matter how much work I had to do, 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm was the time I took a step back from my school work and hung out with other WIB members.
What challenges have come from virtual learning? Has WIB helped you manage them?
One of the biggest challenges that have come from virtual learning is the decline in social interaction. Even if I spent my whole day at the Baruch library, I was always able to see a friend and have a conversation. I think constantly being surrounded by classmates and friends was something I took for granted. Especially because I prefer talking to people in person and suck at texting, it was hard for me at the beginning of quarantine to communicate with people. Fortunately, WIB has been really helpful in pushing me to talk and interact with others. At our events, we always encourage discussion and participation so I find myself talking to other members a lot. We now even have a Whatsapp chat and a Discord dedicated to all WIB members to get to know one another. I feel this has been a great addition to the club, and I know has helped me talk to people besides my family! Another challenge I would say is finding the motivation to do work. When we were in person, I was constantly surrounded by people doing work, which always pushed me to do my work. But being virtual, we don’t have that. Luckily, WIB has done a few events related to finding motivation during quarantine so that has been helpful.
What was it like attending virtual WIB events last semester?
At first, it was different. When we were in person, it was so easy to come to an event, sit-next to someone, and just have a conversation. Over Zoom, you don’t get that same experience. However, I believe WIB has done a great job of adjusting to this virtual environment. Events are still filled with interactive activities and opportunities to learn from others. Although the setting has changed, WIB events remain fun and engaging. I also think WIB is utilizing the virtual environment to its fullest potential. In October, we had our annual Pink and Denim Day. And despite it not being in person, we were still able to raise money and leave smiles on everyone’s faces :)
Based on your experience last semester, what advice do you have for students preparing for online finals?
I’m going to be honest — it’s very hard to find motivation during this time. Often I find myself asking, “What’s the point?” Since everything is online, it’s so easy to feel discouraged about studying. My advice would be to take it day by day. Even if it’s studying for an hour a day for a certain class, it’s going to be effective in the long run. I know I mentioned this earlier, but breaks are essential. That’s why I would also recommend for everyone to not just take breaks, but also schedule them! If you’re making a study plan for finals, it’s essential to put a few breaks in there. Whether it’s a 20-minute break to walk outside or an hour-long break to watch T.V, make time for yourself! Properly preparing for finals is a combination of both studying and taking care of yourself.
Paige Goulden, Executive Vice President
What are some pieces of knowledge you have acquired from 2 online semesters that you would like to share with those who might be nervous about an online Spring 2021 semester?
Being online these past two semesters, I’ve learned how to be really disciplined with myself, both when it comes to doing school work but also knowing when to take a break. It can be really easy to either go full speed ahead and throw yourself into work being that there isn’t a spatial separation between work and personal time anymore. On the other hand, once you start slacking and letting go of some of your responsibilities, you can quickly find yourself in a bit of a slippery slope situation.
Personally, I’ve found the best way to prevent either of those circumstances is to keep a really strict schedule. Designating certain times for school work, or actual work, and then leisure time will help you keep track of everything you need to get done and provide balance to your life. With that being said, it’s also important to make sure your schedule is realistic. If you know you’re not the type of person to sit down and study for five hours straight, that’s okay! Just factor that in when making your schedule.
Another thing I learned in these past months is to just be gentle with yourself and others! We are all going through something we’ve probably never experienced before and are doing our best to make the life adjustments we feel are necessary. Don’t be so hard on yourself!
What’s one positive thing that has come out of a virtual WIB?
One positive thing that has come from a virtual WIB is our increased ability to utilize different forms of social media and other technologies to connect with our members. We’ve always been a pretty active organization on traditional social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, but when this semester started one of the Board’s main concerns was being able to foster relationships with new members without actually being on campus. In an effort to do so, we’ve created WIB chat rooms through platforms like WhatsApp and Discord where members can constantly stay in touch.
We’ve also used social media like never before to help in our fundraising efforts this year. In the weeks leading up to our PDD Telethon, we had committee members posting donation Bingo Boards to help raise funds and also promote the event. With that effort, we were able to raise the most money ever through a WIB event, and it was all done virtually!
As the Executive President, can you share any exciting things that the e-board is working on?
Some exciting things the E-Board has in the works for next semester are our large-scale events The Style Your Success Fashion Show and The Pearls of Wisdom Leadership Conference. Of course, both will be done in a virtual format to ensure the safety of members, but we want to make sure they are just as (or possibly even more) interactive as they have been in the past. We can’t disclose our plans in detail quite yet, but I can assure you that both events have some amazing things in store for our members!
What are you personally most excited about in WIB this year online?
I’m personally most excited about just seeing how all of the other Board members are going to continue handling being online. All of our VP’s have really stepped up to the plate when it comes to making sure each of their committees does their absolute best in whatever event or task they are faced with. The most important aspect of WIB is our members, and it is our job as Board members to make sure that WIB’s mission is being carried out to our members in every way possible, under any and every circumstance.
The task was pretty daunting at first, when club life for this semester was confirmed to be completely online we had to rework a lot of our club’s infrastructure. With that being said, every VP stepped up and went above and beyond in carrying out their responsibilities. It’s moments like that that make me feel so confident in the future of WIB. I’m so excited to see what these girls come up with for the rest of the year and beyond!
With this advice from Paige and Sonel, hopefully, you will find the confidence to tackle online learning and finish this semester strong. Keep working hard and let the WIB support system guide you into a wonderful college experience!