Being an Individual in a Group

Man-Yun Liu 22′
Department of Chinese as a Second Language

Groups and organizations are a crucial part of our lives because we are social beings. We all have many experiences of being in a group whether the decision is made by oneself, such as joining a club or the Student Association. However, the other possibility is that the person was coerced or forced to participate in a group. For example, the group presentation in a course may be classic cases. In both situations, the individuals play an important role in the functioning of the organization, and people can put lots of things into perspective indeed. The following are some examples of my own to elaborate these group experiences changed me in the campus life.

Man-Yun Liu(3)
Man-Yun Liu(2)
Man-Yun Liu(1)

I started going to guitar club as an underclassman. There were a lot of novel things for me to try out in the beginning. For instance, differentiating between musical genres was a major challenge for me. Nonetheless, with the assistance of other members, I was gradually learning to tell the differences. The first thing I’ve learned from being in a group is you can help each other when you run into a problem that you might not be able to handle on your own. As time went by, I progressed to sophomore status, which meant that it was time for me and the other sophomores to take on the role of club organizers. Therefore, I was chosen to serve on the club’s committee. Being a leader is a difficult position to hold, in my opinion. When a problem arises, the leader must decide how to solve it. The leader must do his or her job as well as possible in order for everyone else’s work to be done well. To sum up, leaders will always strive to do their best, whereas a follower may not be motivated to do this. However, being a member entails more than just listening to what the leaders say, members must also consider whether the leaders made the right decisions. In addition to being a member with independent thought, I absorb the experiences of being a leader.

Furthermore, I participated in many Mandarin teaching internships in order to improve my skills and strengths during my senior year. I joined a school organization called “International Youth”, which aims to enhance international cooperation by helping foreigners become accustomed to their new environments easily. Needless to say, their language ability is an essential part of how they can fit into the school sooner. I had the job of improving their Mandarin. I faced many challenges which I was almost never able to deal with when I first joined the association. It was very difficult for me to strike a balance between preparing lessons for the students and my own studies. The other problem was figuring out exactly what I should prepare for each lesson because I had a lack of experience teaching. To be specific, I was unsure how to teach people from different country using the same materials. The good news was, after hearing my worries, many people in the association shared their suggestions and their own methods with me, which helped me immensely.

“No man is an island, entirely of itself; every man is a piece of the continent.”. Ever since I discovered how I can benefit from the group work, I started to realize that human beings do badly when isolated from others and need to be part of a community in order to thrive. Understanding the importance of team work is the most practical thing I learned from the university, and it can be applied to my future career.