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Lessons of an Election

Lessons of an Election
Writer, 11

My grade five school year ended badly. Girls who had been my friends for six years decided that they no longer wanted to play with me. My best friend had a new best friend, and academically my work went downhill. I was once top of the class with lots of friends, and now I had no friends and just couldn't concentrate on schoolwork.

When my grade six school year began, I wanted to run for student council, but there were students running who were much more popular and only one person would be elected. I knew that no one would vote for me over the other kids. But I also knew that I had leadership qualities and that I would make a great student council representative. I began my campaign right away, with posters and little cards. I never put down the other five people who were running, I didn't hand out candy, and I didn't make any farfetched promises. On the day of voting, I was the third candidate to talk. I told the class that being student rep isn't a popularity contest. It's not about who's the smartest, prettiest, or coolest. It's about electing someone who will work hard for the class and who will listen and represent the views of his or her classmates. While the other five students who were running tried to rely on their popularity, I worked hard to prove that I was the best person for the job. And when it came time for the vote, I won by a landslide.

The election taught me something. Sometimes we need to confront things head on to get points across. With this in mind, I then decided to confront those girls who no longer wanted to be friends with me. I asked them what the problem was. We talked for a long time. I cried and some of them cried. It's been three months now, and while I can't say that I have back all my friends, I realize there are lots of other kids who I can be friends with. I've learned to concentrate on my schoolwork and my work as student council rep. Last week I got my report card and I made the honor roll, with all As and one B+.

My school life isn't perfect now and there are times that I wish I could turn the clock back, but I've learned some important lessons. If another student was going through this I would advise them to concentrate on the things they're good at, and that would raise their self-esteem. I'd tell them to deal with things head on and to look for friends beyond their old friends. And I'd tell them to get involved in extracurricular activities to feel good about themselves. Most of all, I'd tell them that they have to be confident that they are a good person.

Last Modified Date: 1/18/2001