Coming from a school where house appointees were chosen by teachers and the school posts were determined by votes, it was interesting to go through Inventure’s election process where everything was exactly the opposite. The whole concept of ballot boxes and campaigning both excited and frightened me –until the moment when my name was announced as BA Captain, I was a nervous wreck.
I didn’t always think I was going to stand for elections. Firstly, I was a new student, so I wasn’t very confident about my chances. Secondly, it seemed like there were several, more qualified people for the various student council positions. Why even stand? But as odd as it may sound, when the senior school had been called together for the talk about elections, I found myself itching to get that nomination form. And when I did… I was blank in terms of my symbol and manifesto. What did I hope to achieve? What did I want to stand for?
In the end, after days of careful consideration, I decide to make my symbol the lovable minions from the movie ‘Despicable Me’. Not only were they adorable, but they symbolized teamwork and loyalty and in my mind, that’s all I wanted to stand for. I knew that, as a leader, I wanted to be someone to make the house a cohesive unit, not be a one man show. The minions seemed like the best representation of that.
I really had fun making my Minion posters for Phase 1 of the elections, the house elections. Seeing the excited expression on everyone’s face when I’d put up the hand-made posters (whether it’s a 6th grader or a 12th grader, everyone seems to love the minions!) definitely made me feel excited about campaigning, but the best part was interacting with so many new Inventors that I hadn’t spoken to much in the previous year. I loved how the 6th graders would smile at me confidently and ask intellectual questions like the contents of my manifesto. God knows I wasn’t that politically aware at that age!
Voting was to take place on a Monday: I clearly remember walking into school that morning, looking at those ballot boxes in the junior hang out area and feeling horribly tense. My classes went by in a blur, my mind constantly drifting off to those expected voting results… When they did announce it over the PA system, I could hardly believe it. It only sunk in when I saw my brother running down the stairs cheering happily.
Phase 2 was intimidating, to say the least. Just the idea of meeting the management was enough to unnerve even the best of us. But I suppose all of us did the best we could -giving our speeches, voicing our opinions and talking to the management about our ideas and aspirations as captains. I walked out feeling good about myself. I knew that, win or lose, I had told them everything I needed to say.
All in all, these elections were quite an experience. I learnt to communicate better with my house through campaigning, I definitely have better bonds with my house teachers after this whole process and most importantly, I feel confident about the year ahead. As BA Captain, I have a lot of ideas running through my mind and it would be amazing to see them all come to fruition. But till then, I’ll be content with knowing that I survived these elections. Let me tell you, it isn’t easy!