Personal Inspiration

Personal Inspiration #2: My Biggest Achievement

This is a personal post and had nothing to do with interior design, but it kind of explains how this blog came to be, along with telling the story of one of the best and hardest commitments I made while I was at university.

At the start of my second year at university I decided I wanted to get more involved in the ‘uni community’ by joining a society. I had already made a really close circle of friends, but I thought why not add something to my CV and meet some cool new people at the same time? That is when I joined a student society called Vale Festival, and I got a lot more than I bargained for.

Chilling at the Shisha Tipi

Chilling at the Shisha Tipi

I knew about Vale Fest, and in fact had been to the previous year’s festival with my friends, so it seemed like a natural choice of society for me. Vale Fest is a group of student volunteers who work tirelessly throughout the year to put on the UK’s biggest Student music (and arts) festival for charity, organising everything themselves, from artists to stages (to toilets!), everything is down to the committee and other helpful volunteers. This seemed like the perfect opportunity for me; I love music and I wanted to start making use of my obsession with the internet to do promotions and marketing for them.

However, becoming involved in Vale Festival turned out to be something completely outside of my comfort zone and unexpectedly wonderful.

When I turned up to the first meeting I knew absolutely no one. This was pretty intimidating, as the committee seemed like a close-knit bunch. This was my first worry completely busted as by the second week I’d found a kindred spirit in Terri – who became one of my best friends, and who I’m travelling to Thailand with this summer. By making an effort we eventually became friends with the committee too, and they’re now some of my closest pals and live just across the road from me.

The wonderful Electric Swing Circus

The wonderful Electric Swing Circus

The hardest part of Vale Fest was the commitment. There were weekly committee meetings, subcommittee meetings, tasks to complete between meetings and keeping on top of what everyone else was doing. As everything we achieved affected each other, I ended up involved in promo and marketing, events, entertainment, artist liaison, decorations and stage managing. A wide range of skills! I had glandular fever at the time too which made it even more stressful, but I didn’t want to quit and drop it for so many reasons.

I persevered and really fell in love with the festival and its ethos. I also got a bit of a taste for promotions and marketing. Through the committee, I managed to get an internship in promotions and marking with the band the Electric Swing Circus over the following summer. This was something that really pushed me to create this blog. I enjoy social media marketing and I wanted to put what I’d learnt at Vale Fest into this blog to make it as successful as possible.

So what was the best bit?

The most amazing moment

The most amazing moment

The wonderful Electric Swing Circus headlined the main stage on the day of the festival. At this point the committee had been on site 6 in the morning (I came in at 8 due to illness, which was still grim) and were soaking wet, exhausted, and we still had the marquees to take down once the festival-goers went to the afterparty. Everyone left whatever jobs they had and went to the main stage. One of the members of Electric Swing Circus helped to found the festival, so it was a pretty special moment for everyone involved. We stood at the front of the crowd and forgot about all of the lows of the year and just focussed on what we’d done and really no one could believe it. It started to pour down with rain for the millionth time that day but we all kept dancing anyway and the huge crowd stayed to go absolutely crazy. In that hour and a bit set, none of us were tired or even really noticed the rain, and if we did for once we weren’t grumpy about it – we were all so hot and sweaty from dancing that we needed it. It was one of the best memories of my life.

I guess the moral of this post and why it is ‘inspirational’ to me is that whenever I think of dancing like a crazy lady, at the front of the stage, absolutely drenched, I remember that hard work really does pay off. You should always take the time to sit back and admire what you’ve done. As any of the committee will agree, organising something like a festival is hard. Creating a blog, or anything that you are proud of takes time and commitment, and it’s so easy to get caught up in what to improve or post next, and forget what you’ve already achieved. I guess I have two ‘best’ things that I’ve done now!

To check out Vale Festival 2013, supporting the mental health charities Young Minds and Students Against Depression, click here.


5 thoughts on “Personal Inspiration #2: My Biggest Achievement

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