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Life > High School

My Learnings From High School Presidency

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Ottawa chapter.

I’m going into my first year in Political Science and Feminist and Gender studies and as I’m getting ready to move, I’m reflecting on what brought me to make my program decision. While campaigning for the 2021-22 Student Council President role, I was told by a relative that I should consider a future career in politics! I told them, “We’ll see, if I win the election then sure, maybe.” Well, I did win that election and for my final year in high school, I was the Student Council President. It is something that I am proud of and worked very, very hard at. Throughout my 10 months in this leadership role, I learned many lessons. I am here today to share them with you and to share my experiences with people who may be interested in applying to their Student Council.

campaigning means selling yourself

This is a significant step for female future politicians; you need to learn what confidence means for you. Women are taught from a young age to stay humble and keep their winnings close to their chests, otherwise, they will come off as cocky and bragging—this is not true! We need to be proud of our accomplishments and traits. Practising confidence before you start the campaign is super important. The student population needs to know why they should elect you, so you have to be able to advertise why you deserve to be a leader.

You need to know your motives

Evaluate yourself and your motives. Are you willing to take on more responsibility? Being a leader, in general, is something that many people like in theory, but when it comes to actually becoming a leader, they get a little nervous. Remember that taking on a role in a club requires a lot of time management, but being a leader in an organization will require a very big chunk of your time. During my presidency, I spent a minimum of one extra hour every weekday on top of the two regular weekly meetings. It seems like a lot of work, but it taught me how to be better with my time and how to manage lots of people. I was a humanities-centred student, so I wasn’t taking very many difficult courses, but managing senior year while being a leader was a challenge. If you’re deciding whether or not the choice is for you, think about how you want to build your habits and how you want to handle your time now.

You can’t please everyone

This was a big learning curve and something I will take with me for the rest of my life. There were many events that I pitched and helped run, though there were a lot of people who weren’t very excited about them and wanted to do something different. Of course, you can aim to make the majority happy, but you need to accept that there will always be a group of people who disagree with you. Learning to tackle that and to not give “trolls” any power were difficult lessons to learn, but they jumpstarted my teachings.

Overall, stay confident, know yourself, and know you can’t make everyone happy. Becoming the high school Student Council President was a great opportunity for me, but many of my friends were in the general council and also did great things while having a great time. I’ve found that trusting your gut is the best way to get something done. Do what you think is best. No one knows you better than you know yourself!

Avalyn Kwai Pun

U Ottawa '26

Avalyn is a first year joint honours Political Science and Feminist and Gender Studies student. She's passionate about social change and feminism, and has hopes to become a lawyer in the future. She enjoys reading, spending time with her family, music, and writing!