Losing an election was one of my best experience in first year
I love being involved. Particularly, I have had a passion for student government ever since the eighth grade. Heading into university, I knew that I wanted to continue that passion and be engaged with the community, wherever I ended up. Every tour I went on I asked about the
school’s student government: what were the positions? How do you get involved? What events were there? When I accepted my offer to Mac, I was determined to be involved with the McMaster Science Society (MSS)!
In September, I decided to nominate myself for the position of MSS first year rep: I asked ten
people in one of my lectures sign my nomination form and handed it in. Then I attended the all-candidates meeting where they tell you all the rules of campaigning. I knew very little about running a campaign. I’d only ever run one campaign in high school- all my other positions were either acclaimed or application/interview-based. At the meeting, over 20 first-year science students were running for 2 positions! I guess other people also had a passion for student government.
During the campaign, some of us did ‘class talks’ where we would stand in front of the entire
lecture hall and tell our peers why they should vote for us. This was definitely intimidating/exciting/scary! In the end, I decided to baton twirl while I talked so I would be more memorable. Talk about ‘putting yourself out there.’
At the end of the day, I didn’t win. While this might have been disappointing at the time, I
wouldn’t change anything about the experience because I got to meet so many people. Some of my closest friendships in University came from this election- one of which is my current
roommate and best friend! Some of my friends ran against me, while others approached me
after class or while waiting in line for food and said, “you’re the baton girl, right?” Overall, the experience was incredibly positive and everyone was very supportive of each other. In fact, all the candidates made a group chat and we met up to celebrate the two individuals who won!
It is also important to mention that this wasn’t the only opportunity to get involved! There were lots of other opportunities to get involved including clubs, teams, intramurals, and other societies. Many clubs are always looking for new members throughout the entire year so it is rarely too late to join! In my first year, I was involved in the Biology Society, Mac Dance rec, Outdoors Club, and Mac Improv team and I attended the Science and first-year formals.
All in all, I just wanted to tell my story so you know that it is okay to put yourself out there. It is okay to lose and fail, and most importantly, get involved with something you’re passionate
about! Even if it is just one thing. You will meet like-minded people, gain skills and overall
enhance your undergraduate experience. Running in an election in my first year was
intimidating and scary, but I’m so glad I did it because I’m not sure I would have met so many people if I hadn’t run. I may have lost an election, but I won some great friends, experiences, and lessons instead!
- Alyssa Burrows, Honours Biology Pharmacology Co-op Level IV