Sitting in front of my computer, reading an email from our grade dean about the possibility of running for Student Council Co-President, I was wary about running. “Would I win?” I thought. “What could I promise?” I wondered.
Fast forward to March 30, the day I was to give my speech to run as a candidate for the position of co-president. “Will I start sneezing during my speech?” I wondered as I sat, waiting for my turn to talk.
But that’s really the end of this process. My journey in student government started about a year earlier as I contemplated running for vice president of our grade. Running for office was a scary proposition as I had never served in student government before, and I wasn’t sure how I would do in the elections. But what I did know, though, was that I wanted to make a difference for the members of our class; I mean, half of each week in our freshman year was spent on Zoom rather than in a classroom.
As I wrote my speech and platform for vice president, what I really wanted to come through was that I would work for the class and try to provide them with a school year that really brought the class together. I thought about how we could make prom awesome, the Valentine’s Day activities we could run, and other ways to connect our grade. I loved working with our Class President Ana Chrysa and the student council representatives. I had an amazing time being a part of planning our Valentine’s Day carnation sale, and I’m thrilled to say that our junior prom was amazing, in no small part due to the hard work of our volunteer planners from the junior class.
This year, as vice president, was my first year in any form of student government. It was rewarding to see how my actions could make a difference in the lives of our class, from the games we planned at class meetings to our first grade-wide event of the year, a viewing of Jaws in the school community room, complete with microwave popcorn and Domino’s Pizza.
As my term was speeding to an end before spring break, I really wanted to continue my work on student government, but perhaps on a larger scale, representing the entire student body of the upper school. That brings me back to reading that email from our grade dean about running for co-president.
As I reflected on what was most meaningful to me about my experience as vice president, I came to realize that it was not just about the promises I made in my speech, it was about the friends I made along the way. Realizing this, I came up with my platform and plan that I named ACT (which, as I mentioned in my speech, does not involve a college admissions entrance exam). ACT stands for acting and creating together. As I talked about my ideas in the speech, I also talked about how one of my goals is to work with the student body in realizing some of their ideas when it comes to making positive changes in the school.
“I really hope I don’t start sneezing,” I thought as I walked up to the podium. I didn’t go up empty-handed, though. Literally, I had my speech in hand. Figuratively, I was carrying all of my hopes for the student body with me as I went up there to ask the electorate for their vote of confidence.
After the speech and voting were over, I spent the next few hours nervously awaiting the results. The next day, when we learned the results of the election, I was excited to learn that I would be one of the two co-presidents for the upcoming school year, along with my student government partner from the current school year, Ana Chrysa.
A process that started with brainstorming and speech writing turned into an opportunity to do my best in this new role. I am super excited to be in this position, and I’m optimistic about what we can accomplish for the school in the coming months.