Ok, so it’s easy for us to forget how hard it is growing up and learning so much stuff. As you hit mid teens you feel like you know so much yet are talked to with such little respect, or maybe you want to control your destiny a little more but feel like you are being held back. Whilst it is incredibly hard to respect that your teachers and parents may know best and are tasked with the huge responsibility of ensuring you are educated, healthy and safe, you do have to trust in your adult peers to do just that. However there are many ways you can take control. So let’s take a look at what you can do to ensure you are on the path you want to walk.
Education is probably going to be the biggest part of your life until you are around 24 years old. Once you finish school you will have far more choices on which lessons you take, how you study and where you study. Until then you kind of have to let your parents and teachers guide you. That doesn’t mean you can’t throw a few ideas into the pot too.
Perhaps you are desperate to learn more about Europe. Who can blame you? As we get older it becomes harder for us to take time out and travel. You may get the opportunity to do this if you take a gap year, however with more and more people looking for work and stiffer competition than ever before, you might be better off skipping your gap year and working through. So, this is where you need to start thinking a little outside the box.
Your school will do many different types of school trips throughout the year. Some of these will be local and during school time, others might be far away and eat into your vacation time. There is a lot of planning involved, so don’t take these trips for granted, however, maybe you could do some planning of your own.
If there is enough interest in your idea and it fits with the projects your school has set for you, then there is no reason you couldn’t present your idea to your school principal. In fact, if you can nail out a fantastic pitch, writing all the reasons you think you should go there, researching companies who may be able to take on the organisation and you have a list of pupils who would be up for heading out, you might just impress your tutors so much they ace your plan.
There are some great ideas for the ultimate school trip online, you don’t have to be a teacher to research the idea or to get in touch with the companies to discover all the information. In fact it is going to help your pitch if you have already spoken to a company who can provide a full package and got all the info.
Being able to answer all the questions your teachers are going to throw at you, will stand you ten steps ahead of them. Think about why the trip would benefit your education and if you can link one trip to be positive across 4 or 5 subjects this will work in your favour. You might be going because you are fascinated by the art, but don’t forget a few days looking at art and architecture will also involve history, geography and cuisine. So you can link it through to make it a really great, multi subject trip.
Of course there are other ways you can take control of your education too. Whilst it can seem a little dorky to become a school president it is actually the opposite of that. Being a school president means you have a say in how your education works. So it will really play in your favour and give you that respect you have been craving. You will finally have a voice, so you need to use it for good (no evil geniuses here please)
We have a great guide for getting to the oval office of your class.
Firstly, you are going to find it easier to get ahead if you are involved from your freshman year and continuing that involvement every year. You will need to participate in sports, volunteer to work on homecoming floats, decorate the gym for dances, and basically get to know the other students at your school besides your core group of friends. Make everybody know your name. If your school offers a class associated with the student body, sign up. This is all great networking experience for later life too, so by embarking on a campaign now you may be giving yourself the extra edge as you head to your first job. If everyone knows your name and you have been friendly and fun, when the time comes to run for class president, you’ll be remembered in the voting booth for your involvement and dedication to the school.
The best way to begin your campaign is to be the first to start campaigning. Get out there and talk to people as soon as the political season opens. Keep talking. Be direct and ask people for signatures. Don’t just get the ones you are required, get as many as you can. Hitting it hard and fast means you can ingrain your name and your commitment in your fellow students. Especially if you have taken the time to get to know what they want. Give them a voice too.
You don’t have to be a teacher’s pet but it is going to pay if you build a rapport with a couple of teachers. Keep your grades high too. You need the respect of the faculty as well as your classmates. It isn’t uncommon for the faculty members to provide recommendations for office eligibility. Your teachers will also want students in office who recognize their own interest in the campus because it is you that will be called up to represent your school in front of committees or the district office. If you have a high quality of work and respect with teachers then they will have the faith in you to represent them best. Which is a great way of showing you are trusted and respected by the adults who have your future in their hands.
Listening to your classmates is vital. Ask them what they want you to accomplish. If it is realistic then pursue it. You need the masses to showcase your intentions within your campaign speech so if it touches a note with enough people, you are going to get a great reception.
Believe in what you say you plan to do in your campaign platform. If you say, for instance, that you plan to begin new traditions, believe in your goal. Don’t repeat what you think your classmates want to hear. Instead, commit yourself to public service. At the same time, think “outside the box.” Come up with your own creative goals for the school. But don’t make unrealistic campaign promises. Taking hump day off of school might sound ace in your head, but it isn’t going to happen and will make you lose credibility.
So when the actual president runs for power they won’t get far if they spend the whole time cracking jokes, however in high school politics you earn points for being funny. When faced with questions on the campaign trail the best answers are those where you make the students laugh but address the issue, too. The same goes for speeches. Throw in a joke or two, you know the score, young people love to laugh. So go for that. Leave the dullsville speeches to everyone else.
Taking control of your education is possible, you just need to do it in the right way. So stop pushing the wrong buttons. Get your head down, think about what it is you want and find a way to take control.
Teachers and parents love to see us putting all the passion we have to good use. If we are wasting it at home chasing unrealistic goals then we end up being met with resistance. However if you can put your thoughts down on paper and create a reasoned and grown up proposal you will find you are met with respect and, ultimately, trust. You might not win every pitch you put out there, but at least you will win the respect of the people who are in charge.
If you can nurture these skills now, you will have a far more rounded future. Know which battles are worth fighting and which are not. Then dedicate yourself and push through with your ideas.
You don’t have much control over your life, so make it count where you do.