This year, I attended my first AIESEC Conference and like most of us already know, every new recruit’s experience in AIESEC usually begins with RYLC, or the Regional Youth Leadership Conference.
‘Conference’ is a word that has always held this deep-rooted terror in my mind – mostly because I doubt myself a lot. Will I be good enough for this? Will people even like me? What if my humor seems weird to them? And the worst of the lot: What if they don’t like Batman? (Pardon me, but liking Batman is an important criterion for me.)
So, it was with a nervous heart, fluttering fingers, and a glimmer of hope that I paid the fee, got up on time (and wasn’t late at all), caught the bus, occupied a random seat, and smiled at the person sitting next to me.
And that’s where it really began.
It began with a smile, and it ended with laughter, because those 4 days I spent in RYLC were one of the few I will never, ever forget.
RYLC ’13, Western Region was held in Khadakvasla, Pune, and it consisted of delegates from Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Indore, Ahmedabad, Pune and Surat. Over 180 students, all full of energy, all dying to put forth their views and change the world, and we all did, in our own little ways.
There were group activities, FLCP elections, immense learning and a mock AIESEC experience, EDM, prom night, all rolled into those 4 jam-packed days where nights were no different from days. The speakers were captivating; we forgot the existence of sleep. Not to forget, the conference was chaired by Audrey Elumba, President of AIESEC in Philippines, who gave us all an unforgettable moment to remember, when she sat before us and related her life story.
It was called the Living Library.
An experience is something that is felt thoroughly, and I cannot put this in a better way: it is lived and breathed – mere talking or putting all of that into a piece of writing is very hard.
However that’s what the living library did; experiences were spoken about. Six amazing people, six brilliant incidents, they left my eyes tear-filled! They spoke about how AIESEC gives you unimaginably great opportunities, experiences to live and love, gets you to meet people you become best friends with and so on. They have moments of glory together, individually and at the same time failed to learn all over again. Scintillating!
You start to see the world differently when you’re in AIESEC.
You start wanting to change it.
And you start changing it when you start being a part of AIESEC.
– Meghna Dhankhar, AIESEC in Mumbai