Running For And Losing Student Council 4 Times
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Running For And Losing Student Council 4 Times

From one StuCo veteran to another

Running For And Losing Student Council 4 Times
Kaycee Aultman

Back then, reconnaissance began at school 30 minutes early, weapons of choice being tape and thumbtacks. Known as Student Council Campaign Week, for almost 14 days a year for four years, I ran for office. Making posters, stickers, T-shirts, candy, videos, fliers and handouts -- there was nothing I didn't try. From freshmen to senior year, I threw my entire self into my campaigns, employing my family, best friends and social media followers too. It was crazy. I worked harder in those two weeks every year than what should be humanly possible.

I ran four times, and I also lost four times. I wish I could say that it got easier with each defeat. But, as much as I wouldn't care to admit it, this is the real world, and it didn't.

The first time I lost, it was to a guy whose posters consisted of sticky notes. And that was the extent of his campaign. Half the time, he didn't even write them himself; they were written by his best friend. In the end, I became the butt of some joke or rumor or something equally as cruel referring to me as the Anti-Christ. (Please, I encourage you to take a minute to roll your eyes with me.) Yes, it was childish, immature and it hurt terribly. I learned that just because you work harder, it doesn't necessarily mean your success will match. Consider it my initial causality.

My sophomore year, I found myself at the high school with no intentions of running again -- no ifs, ands or buts. However, it was my literature teacher who finally convinced me otherwise. As the co-advisor of Student Council, my teacher asked me to at least give it a try. Even then, after having only known me for a few weeks, she had seen the best in me, and she pushed me to show it to others. Renee Hughes worked a miracle. So, following a serious interpersonal deliberation, I picked myself up, and I tried again. This time when I lost, I at least felt good about my slogan. Posters quoting, "Started from the Bottom, Now We're Here," accompanied with a picture of the minions from "Despicable Me" copying their bottoms on a copy machine, was a hit. I even had a senior at the time copy my idea (pun intended) when he ran as a joke. You can't tell me it wasn't ingenious.

However, with my loss, came a position on the Committee At Large -- a separate branch of Student Council created specifically for those who worked extremely hard during their campaign, but had not been elected. I made it my prerogative to show the upperclassmen that year exactly what I was capable of. At Homecoming, one of the paramount decorations was my idea that I taught people to make. And then at Prom, the council members voted allowing sophomores to help out because they needed me and what I could do. It was beautiful, and I felt awesome, to say the least. My best friend, at the time, and I ended up being the ones to build the grand staircase for the center exhibition. Talk about important! Yet besides that, being on the Committee At Large gave me the opportunity to meet some amazing friends who I still look up to. It was a chance for me to learn the ropes underneath the best people, and they taught me what losing with dignity meant.

So turning around as junior, I chose to theme my campaign around what I knew. Choosing slogans based on popular books and movies like "The Hunger Games" or "The Fault in Our Stars" led my campaign that year. As the election concluded yet again, I came up about eight votes short. What I learned from that experience is this: those people who say onr vote can make a difference are so right. I struggled for a couple of weeks after that. I was upset. For a third time, I had been beaten, and I couldn't believe my hard work hadn't been enough again. But with my sights set on what I would accomplish as a member of the Committee, I was hopeful.

For me, senior year was the embodiment of, "Go big or go home." I was not taking no as an answer. When I started planning out my campaign, I asked a good friend of mine, the Georgia state Student Council President for recommendations. He quickly replied to my desperate text. "Totally think about making a video- that's what my friend and I did and it really helped." One of my most creative brainstorms ever was born.

I would make a video, a parody of a popular song. I would ask my friends for help, and it would be so funny that everyone would love it and my campaign. So that's what I did. Kaycee Aultman Campaign #2k16 began. As soon as I got home from school, once I had turned in my application to run, I say down to write new lyrics for the ever famous, "Trap Queen," by Fetty Wap. I went into overdrive. Flash forward to a few days later, and three of my best friends and I were filming what I consider to be the highlight of my StuCo career. I edited the video that night, added my own vocals, uploaded it to YouTube, and there it stood. When I began to advertise it, people freaked out. I had teachers playing the video for their students in class. People would stop me in the hallway and tell me how great it was. I felt so confident. Maybe I had really won it.

But come time for the announcement of the winners, it still wasn't me. It hit me like a freight train. I had been expecting so much, and it still hadn't mattered. Or had it?

Now, when I look back, I see the amazing time I had making the video with my friends. I think about the excitement I felt at being proud of what I had created and being able to laugh at myself. I think about how I went on to become the Committee at Large Executive Board President, the creative head of all dances and decoration choices. I think about how I showed the students younger than me all the things that I had learned from the people before me. I think about the respect I have for my friends and how they kept my back, no matter what. I think of how I stayed (or at least tried) calm in high stress moments, how I knew things no one else could, and how I pulled my team through when other people couldn't do their job. I think of the kids I met and what I ultimately came to represent for my Council.

So as all my TCHS children begin their next chapter of Student Council, I wish them all the best of luck in their endeavors. I give my hats off and full Class of 2016 seal of approval for the number one Mr. Jordan Pittman, "The President," himself. I send my love to my advisors, Mrs. Hughes and Mrs. Bowen. But most of all, I remind every single one of them that blessings in disguise are so incredibly real. Don't be afraid to see them. Just pick yourself up and keep running.

It's worth it.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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