Imagine yourself dressing up as the Disney character Mulan during an entire day of high school. Or perhaps having to do 10 jumping jacks during school whenever someone calls your name.
First of all, you certainly discover that more people say your name in one day than you ever expected! Secondly, you realize that being a student body officer, or SBO, comes with a few awkward and surprising "perks."
Much of an SBO's effort is what would be referred to as "behind the scenes" work. We must keep a 3.0 G.P.A. with good citizenship for the entire year. We also devote a lot of time each week to gather ideas for upcoming events, enjoyable assemblies and fun dances. These may be challenge to plan but to see a positive result and a student body that is having such fun, is an outcome that gives those who plan these events a feeling of pride.
All this wouldn't happen so smoothly if we didn't already work well together as officers -- but how did we come together as a team?
A week leading up to the student body officers' induction last spring came with some unexpected fun! Those newly elected to office had to follow guidelines from the person they were replacing. The adventure I had fallen into was thrilling -- I was up for the challenge.
Our long induction week included: Bowing down each time you saw the officer you were replacing, buying the officer a Jamba Juice, writing them a poem, dressing up as Mulan and yelling "HI-YAH" at any time someone calls your name, and several other discomfited situations. What a pleasure and warm welcome that induction was.
But literally, the true experience of being a student body officer began that induction week. It was thrilling each new day as I put myself out there farther than I ever would. I must say, the day I dressed as Mulan and said "HI-YAH" any time someone spoke my name was one of the most embarrassing days I will probably ever have in high school, but it was also one of the most fun days and experiences. Doing 10 jumping jacks every time my name was said was also an exciting, yet exhausting day.
Although to me and the other participants the week felt like forever, I feel it was really a perfect time for a new officer to feel comfortable showing not only their school spirit, but their willingness to put themselves out there and be different. After all the fun, I believe I now stand stronger as an SBO representing Northridge High because of the challenge I've already faced and conquered! The only problem I have is that when next year's SBO election rolls around, I will get to make my initiation guidelines for the person replacing me when I would much rather retaliate against the person who inducted me! Nevertheless, look out future candidates for SBO, I'm seeking revenge!
Not only did the induction show our new student body who the new SBOs are, but that they, too, can put themselves out there and have school spirit without being ashamed or embarrassed. However you look at it, an SBO should be a leader to others. We should demonstrate and encourage school spirit no matter how awkward or embarrassing it may be because it all results in a stimulating, spirited and successful school year. That is why initiation is beneficial to student body officers -- it builds and strengthens your character and school spirit, and unifies the officers as they enjoy themselves.
And, crazy as it sounds, I think I will be a more effective SBO for 2010-2011 because I spent a day in a Mulan costume. HI-YAH!
Morgan Briesmaster is a senior at Northridge High School. She enjoys snowboarding, dancing/tumbling and smiling. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.