After rewatching Manabi Straight’s first episode, I cannot help but to recall my time in the student council in secondary school.

Which led to my question : Why do people join the student council? I highly doubt people would join to ‘improve the students’ lives in school’ or anything ‘noble’ along that line.

In primary school, my guess is that teachers choose the ‘promising’ students, usually those who have at least above average grades and good conduct. Then they would choose the head council to be the one who they deemed to have the strongest leadership capability. Usually that guy who is smart and has leadership role already in CCA.

They did not choose the council life, the council life chose them.

In secondary school, it was a similar process – teachers tend to recommend lower secondary students with good grades and conduct to be a councillor. Of course, secondary one students were free to apply too.  Now, my guess for people who applied were people who were shrewd, or at least their parents were. Being on the student council may seem decent on the list of achievement certificate that you receive after you graduate, but being part of the main committee will be an icing on the cake.

So, how does one become part of the main committee? In my school, it was being handpicked by the outgoing main committee and submitted for approval to the teacher-in-charge. This is the main issue I have regarding my secondary school’s council. A bunch of 15-16 year old kids choosing the next batch of ‘leaders’, what could go wrong?

Plenty. Kids are easy suckers. Just act cozy with them and pretend to ‘lead’ a bunch of your fellow students and the incumbent leaders will think you are a perfect candidate. Silent, hardworking students are not given the credit they deserve, as they are working out of sight most of the time. Then these ‘future leaders’ will swoop in in the last moment when the incumbent make their rounds and claim full credit. These incumbent will hence hold high opinion of these people, and these opinions are easily ingrained into their minds, and any simple task done by these ‘leaders’ would result in a positive reinforcement on the incumbents’ opinions. This is helped by how these ‘leaders’ tend to act all friendly with the incumbent all the time, making their presence known all the time.

4 months in with 3 major school activities, I came to know who the real workers and fakers are. It was also nearing the day when the incumbent step down for the incoming batch of new ‘leaders’. I tend to report to the council room early for duty, and that was when I overheard the discussion between the incumbent who they were going to choose for the next batch of committee members. The usual ‘fakers’ names were thrown around, mentioning how they were valuable assets, while the hardworking people were briefly mentioned with “hmm? I don’t remember that guy doing anything at all.” A few more days of such conversations, I decided that the student council was a fucked up place to be in. I quit a few days prior to the change of committee ceremony after a brief ‘conversation’ with the teacher-in-charge (wow I still remember how he looked at me like I’m a retard or something).

This experience taught me how important it is to have connections. And also, to be wary of overly friendly people, or people who approach you to leech benefits. This combination led me to have less than a handful of new friends made during secondary school and zero thereafter. Which means no new connections made, which defeat the purpose of the lesson learnt.

By this time, I have no idea what I am ranting about, other than how salty I am with such people. I felt that I have given up on doing my best during that period of time, since there is no point of giving your all and not having anybody appreciating you for your effort, or worse, somebody else being appreciated for your efforts.

But then again the world is like this. This shit still happens everywhere. That is why I think I will not survive well in such a world. I lack the street-smart,  nor do I have eloquent social skills.

In the end, I guess it is just me being insecure and emo as usual, and ranting incoherent ramble which I find it uncomfortable to talk to others about yet find it acceptable to post in on the web.

 

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