ok hi guys. So i’m supposed to talk to y’all about Student Council. You know, the thing that organises other things. But it’s a little weird to jump straight into the nitty-gritty of how it’s like being a councillor, so let’s talk about something else first. Storytime!
Allow me to borrow (read: wholesale plagiarise) an opening phrase that a senior once used. In my younger and more vulnerable days, someone brought up my lack of membership in any activity remotely involving service or leadership during my four pre-IB years. And that was true; beyond the occasional class VIA project, I never really concerned myself with such endeavours. So when the royal bells of the Student Council Selections started tolling, I decided to give it a try; I mean, why not right, chance to do something meaningful, develop your leadership. And I guess having a rectangular badge is pretty nice?? I mean??? kind of??
Except soon enough, you realise that it’s very different from what your brain imagined. You imagine yourself standing at the ramp looking at your late classmates over the edgy clamour of “oh clementi road got jam”, but instead it’s you waking up early every alternate week, dragging yourself to school to patrol the corridors for that lone straggler hiding in his class saying he has a sprained finger (huhwaitwat). And you’ll have to plan events alongside your committee too; weeks and even months of Skype calls and comm meetings that culminate in a programme that lasts a few hours. To put it simply, it’s hard work.
And at some point, other people might look at you and wonder how on earth is it anatomically possible for 32 people (+16 house leaders) to bleed red blue gold. To put it very plainly, it’s all encapsulated with the proverbial descriptor “Service”.
At some point, you realise your toiling has a purpose. And the purpose can be different for different people. Some people do it to make the school a better place. Some people want to quietly contribute in their own ways with their own unique talents. All that matters is that it all comes back to wanting to give something back in one way or another. Because just like how you walked into these hallowed gates on your first day and were greeted with warm smiles and and the even warmer timbre of a man singing something about going higher, you want to pass this warmth and fire on to others.
But at the same time the majority of you might think “But I’ve never tried this before, I don’t know whether I can do it”. But service is a funny thing, because it’s for anyone who wants to give back to this place, this warm Midwest, regardless if you’ve been here for weeks or years.
And Council (or Houncil, whichever you prefer) is a family. You meet people you otherwise would never have met, and over the course of late night wahchee dinners, you begin to learn more about the people who signed up for this journey alongside you.You’ll laugh together, maybe even cry together, but in the end the family you’ll find yourself part of will be magical and irreplaceable.
Well, I guess I ended up talking about Council in the end. Sure, it’s kind of tiring, and yes, it’s a time commitment you’ll have to brace yourself for. But it’s all worth it.
Keith Gan (6.05) is an avid proponent of the physical activity termed “basketball”, which surprisingly incorporates many elements of traditional Western culture, such as European Stepping. He also studies in his spare time.
Editor’s note: Keith actually does a lot more things, but he’d rather not scare the world with his daunting talent.