It is a general rule in life that people would come and go, and the best thing that you can do about it is to make sure that you have learned a lesson from them so that they have done their purpose in you.
Believe it or not, I was never a people person. Contrary to how people perceive introverts, we do like to interact. It just only comes to a point that it becomes tiring and overwhelming that we need our solitude and peace. I started my first three semesters in JRU like a floater or a ghost, making sure to go to my classes and then fade into obscurity afterwards. It took me a while to make friends. Eventually I did made friends, and little did I know that people would also see any sign of leadership potential in me. I had the summer to decide, and you know how they say the first jump is always the scariest, and so I accepted the opportunity of becoming a student leader.
At first, I accepted being secretary of my course organization, since I thought it wouldn’t be that difficult. All I had to do was take notes anyway. But people demanded more from me, saying that I deserved a position higher. Way, way higher. I had to admit I took the position at first because it was demanded of me. I didn’t know the first thing about being a president. Hell, I can’t even stop eating gelato and they expect me to be in charge of something when I can’t control myself? But still, I took the plunge. Little did I know that that wasn’t the only responsibility I’ll be getting that year.
I still remember that first day when all executive committees of all school organizations had their first meeting and elections. The elections felt odd to me, since instead of the entire student body deciding who their leaders are, it was up to a group of people. I barely knew the people inside that room, maybe a few familiar faces from being an irregular student going from one section to another, and there was Lawrence, my classmate from elementary. I intended to do my usual ninja moves, get in and out of there fast. But Peij, who didn’t even know my full name that time, nominated me as secretary of CSC. I honestly wanted to pee in my pants at that moment. I kid you not. I still like to believe she was blackmailed into putting my name in there. So there was my name, along with regular names inside the council who I was most certain would have won. But I did. I wanted the earth to eat me alive, swallow me whole at that moment.
With another work in my hands, this meant I needed to be a frequent visitor of the office, write letters and minutes of the meeting. This of course also meant interacting with other officers. Sure, I can handle that.
I’m sure the council would all agree that the strategic planning and team building was the highlight of the year for all of us. There were fresh faces, high hopes, and formed friendships. It was the closest thing to a beach getaway that I had that year that didn’t involve my mother being infuriated with me. I eventually got used to everybody, and felt like I belonged. I wasn’t a loner anymore, as Ian would call me.
As the year passed by, we held many events, had numerous meetings in and out of the office, encountered some problems. We had our highs and lows. I know for a fact that there were times that it felt like the council would crumble, the then 26 officers turned to a mere 10. There were times when our own adviser and the Student Affairs would do our own job, which they were not responsible for. It’s like a usual business cycle, I suppose. Completely natural to have the best and worst of times.
Now that the year is almost inevitably ending, I have learned a lot from this group of people I had the privilege to work with.
To our president, Ejay, thank you for those times when you had to do my job, which was embarrassing really. I have learned from you the act of selflessness, serving without asking for anything in return. They say the topmost position may be the greatest, but it is also the loneliest. It’s a common television trope. But with you, I’d like to differ. Your concern and your endless understanding towards your constituents is admirable, making me realize that you don’t have to be lonely when you are at the top, you just have to extend your hand to those below you.
To our ad hoc president, Peij, I still stand by what I wrote on that sheet of paper last strategic planning. You are a leader and don’t ever doubt it. Just know that you are not alone, even when it starts to feel like it. Your leadership and humility will take you places. Well, the good kind of course.
To all the friends that I have made, both the good and the bad kind, for those that will stay and leave, thank you for accepting me. I thought the reason why I didn’t made friends in school was because I felt like I wouldn’t find anyone else I had anything in common with. It wasn’t an act of superiority, believe me. But I did, and I am forever grateful and glad to have made such great friendships worthy to last a lifetime.
Don’t even get me started with the song ‘Next In Line’ or I will seriously sob.
I am torn as to how I will represent the end of the year, one is too formal and depressing while the other is too informal and ridiculous. So I will just go with the other, since it marks that this is not necessarily the end, but a beginning of a new chapter.