Filling up the form on the first day, I wondered to myself, why was I even running for the Students’ Council in the first place? Then I realised – it wasn’t the portfolio, it wasn’t the status, it wasn’t anything complicated, but rather a genuine interest in helping people. So, here begins the two-week journey into my campaign to run for the 33rd Students’ Council.
It all started with an interview, which ended with me feeling worse than when I started out. With my less-than-stellar Secondary School results, they had asked me during the interview how I would imagine to cope with both my studies and the commitments of Students’ Council, and I was almost certain that I was going to get axed even before clearing the interview phase. Thankfully, when the results came out a few days later, I had miraculously cleared the interviews, and I was to attend a briefing that would precede the busiest week of my life.
Firstly, I set about brainstorming how to go about campaigning – what would people find memorable, but still low key enough to appreciate? I went through several ideas, from the old “London Choco Roll” advertisement, to the new “Wong Wai Fai” commercial from Starhub. Eventually, I decided that taking a page out of Sheng Siong’s book would be the best. I rounded up a skeleton crew of people willing to work for me, and we started out making designs for the future poster.
Fortunately, my class (16A11) was very supportive of my campaign, and they were more than willing to help me in this endeavour. They famously did a video that parodies the old Sheng Siong commercial, and helped distribute the bookmarks that I have created. Without the fantastic support of my team and my class, I would have surely been lost in the hustle and bustle of campaign week, and I wouldn’t have known what to do without them.
However, that week was also the busiest of my life. Besides the time making posters, cutting out bookmarks and campaigning to people I barely knew, I also had schoolwork, and the extra Nominees’ project to do. It wasn’t long before I was sleeping way past my usual sleeping hours, and the end seemed nowhere in sight. I had the house speeches coming up, and I barely knew what to do during the speech. In the end, I wrote a poem for everyone, which was my first time trying to be fancy and posh. In the end, however cheesy, the general feedback was that the speech was good and the poem was “memorable”.
In the end, this was such an awesome experience for me. Many people have approached me, and asked if I was the “Sheng Siong Guy” that they see on the walls, or on the TV that looms over everyone in the canteen, and I would have an awesome conversation with them – and would have to awkwardly explain why I chose such a campaign for what is a pretty serious election. I had a good laugh, and enjoyed every moment of my election process.
So, I’m just thankful for the opportunity to run. I understand now that it’s not about the destination, but about the journey. This experience was so different from anything else that I have ever encountered before, and although all this work might amount to nothing, at least it was a meaningful kind of nothing.
Jarod Zulkifly Yikai, 16A11