When it comes to the high school boarding experience, almost nothing is more significant then the transition from junior to senior year. It’s the year when you’re class is finally taking over, and the baton from club presidents, school chair, and many other forms of leadership are being passed onto you.
In most positions, especially at Thacher School, we actually go through a mini “college app” process. We’re required to fill out a form and write a few short essays on the positions we would like to obtain and occupy our senior year, followed by a series of interviews by faculty members. Although a little hectic due to the fact that the application process is during preparing for AP’s and other assignments, it’s still exciting and exhilarating.
It can be daunting applying for senior leadership, at times feeling like you’re not qualified, or not as well suited for a position as someone else even though you really want it. At times, yes, there will be disappointment; but you will always end up with the leadership positions that are right for you, manageable, and just enough stress when factoring in your senior year course load.
When it comes to applying, here are a few tips for senior leadership:
1. Be truthful. Sign up for positions you honestly feel like you can thrive in, and would be enthusiastic about being leading. When interviewing or writing an essay for the position, be honest. This gives you time to reflect and show the person why you would be the best candidate for the position, revealing to them your qualities and characteristics as well as the benefits and new ideas you would bring to the position.
2. Be thoughtful. Sometimes people think that the more they sign up for the better chance they have at obtaining more leadership. While this can be true, you could also be making it harder and preventing those who really care about the position from obtaining it. While you shouldn’t just apply for one position you should keep it to a minimum of positions you could actually see yourself doing and thriving in.
3. Be realistic. Senior leadership is a time when things start to get a little hectic when you think about applying to colleges, course load, AP exams, finals, and everything else senior year brings. Make sure you’re being realistic about the amount of responsibility you can take on. Do not over extend yourself. These senior leadership positions should be jobs that you can prosper in and honestly do an amazing job in. If you over extend yourself it raises the opportunity for diminishing the impact you have in certain roles by being focused on too many things at once.
4. Last but not least, be happy. These people are your classmates. Although you might be vying for the same positions, make sure to still be supportive and happy for them and their achievements. No matter what your class is your family and friends. They are the people you will call in college and the people you will be with during reunions. Always be supportive and treat them with the respect that you yourself would wanted to be treated with.
Senior year is a time to give back to the school and have as much fun with your class as possible. No matter what position you get, don’t let it ruin your senior year or your friendships. The year is what you make of it, and if you dive into it ready and prepared to take on whatever senior year might bring with your friends by your side, it will be one of the most memorable times of your high school career.
Morgana Van Peebles