Becoming a leader is not thinking about what other people think of you. It is more on developing your subordinates, and making them step up like what you have did.
-Marie Joy Uy, AB English Language, Cum Laude
We see them roaming around the campus. We see them running in haste with all those program materials, steno notebooks and DSLRs in their hands. We see them organizing, covering and hosting campus events. Who are these guys? Well, say hello to your very own campus student leaders and journalists!
I have been in the shoes of these students. Way back in college, I have served my school’s student publication as Senior Writer, Literary Editor and Managing Editor. I did not stopped there, I was also elected as Public Relations Officer and eventually as Secretary of Computer Engineering Department Student Government. (Not to mention, I won also the Vice President candidacy when I was in 5th year but have to give up the position due to I need to focus on my project design/thesis.)
You may ask why did I join these campus orgs, what did I got from joining when I should have just focused on my 5-year study? While I could easily give you answers to that, I know it would be a little bias if it’s just me who’ll give insights about this. So I have decided to seek help from other former student leaders and press by asking them few questions.
Question: Why did you want to be a student leader?
Now a Systems and Network Engineer, Engr. Junko Villarin admitted that at first she didn’t want to be a student leader. She believed that engaging into organizations would just ruin her studies. She was reckless and rebel. Until one day her parents had a hard time supporting her and her other 3 siblings’ college education. She tried applying as a crew in fast food chain which will give her scholarship, and for academic scholarships but all failed because of not reaching deadlines.
In an instant, things have changed! Jessica Lopez, a student leader in our school, sent a message and said that they are looking for someone for a student government position. She said that she believes in me and she knows that I am responsible. Maybe, it was time for me to give it a try. And here I am. I have become an inspiration to those students who are hopeless and are living a reckless life like I did before, I even had the scholarship I needed. -Engr. Junko Villarin
Well, I didn’t see that coming. I was in the middle of quoting Junko’s answers when I saw that she has cited me. Yeah, I am that Jessica Lopez she mentioned and I really know she would be a great student leader then. 🙂
Question: What are the benefits of being a student leader?
Engineer Gerald Semifrania who believes being a leader as part of his life shared the benefits he got. He said that aside from tuition fee discounts he got the chance to represent the students and his school in seminars and trainings.
I was sent to Bali in Indonesia to attend a Leadership Symposium, I have met many people and other student leaders, I was exposed to organizing events, meeting other people and many more. – Engr. Semifrania
Question: How do you manage your time?
Being a student leader has demands also. When I was in college, after my classes, I can’t go home yet for I have meetings to attend and articles to make and edit. As per experience of Marie Joy Uy, it was her family who she missed a lot during her leadership.
Most of my time during the weekdays were spent for my academics and organizations while I allot my Saturday and Sundays for the extra tasks that I wasn’t able to finish on those days. However, I do not forget to spend a short but quality time with them when I get home around 10 or 11 pm during weekdays. – Marie Joy Uy
If I were to be asked if it is easy to be part of the student publication and department student government, I’ll be honest, it is not. There may be a lot of perks like tuition fee discounts and monthly stipend, but, we can’t get those without maintaining high grades. If you fail a subject, all those perks would be removed from you.
Now, I don’t intend to say all do this, but yes, few people think that we are boastful and over confident. This is the known connotation. According to Engr. Villarin, there may be some for they think they cannot be an effective leader without being over-confident. But she added that over confident leaders who just want to outrun fellow students are those who don’t succeed. For Engr. Semifrania, he believes that some are just being misinterpreted. They [student leaders] should have that confidence because they represent the students to the higher management. And if they aren’t confident, how can they be able to express theirselves?
Question: Comments about those who are passive and don’t notice the projects leaders/press do and the programs they organize?
As a former Managing Editor of a school publication, I know how hard it is producing a newsletter. Sleepless nights, endless bloody editing of articles, asking your professors to be excuse on classes just to cover an event, lay-outing all those news on the allowed number of pages for the paper – those are just some of what we do to come up with a newsletter issue. We are so happy when we already have the outcome. We are excited to release the copies of newspaper we have worked for months for our fellow students. But, what do we get after releasing those copies? In few minutes we will see it in the trash can, lying in the congregating area, or being used as an improvised fan or umbrella. We do not complain about that, yet, we still feel that all those hardships were not being appreciated by some.
Asking Marie Joy Uy about the programs being ignored, this is what she said:
That’s disappointing. After all, the activities are for them. Yes, some don’t really appreciate these activities but what can we do? Perhaps, students should also do their part in continually learning even outside the four corners of the classroom.
Student leaders and journalists are just same as those other students. Though they have different reasons on joining organizations, whether for the scholarship or for expanding network for the future, one thing’s for sure – they want to serve. Engaging on these organizations made them good on time management and made them mature. Being a leader made them better on dealing with great responsibilities.
Participate in the programs your campus leaders organize since these are made for you. Understand that aside from excelling inside your classroom, you should also enjoy. Those newsletters you see lying on the ground? Pick them up! It might have informative articles you are interested. You might have been featured also in one of the news articles written!
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