I lost, but I’m not a loser.

I had a plan.

Freshman year: class rep. Sophomore year: student body historian. Junior year: student body vice president. And to end with a bang, senior year: student body president.

This is the story of how that plan fell to shambles and how I’m finally okay with it.

I’ve been in student council since the sixth grade. Mind you, in sixth grade it meant nothing. All I knew was that what few friends I had made since moving to Mansfield were in it and that if I stuck with it, it would look good on college resumes. I also just liked the idea of student council- that you had the power to affect what goes on in your school and help to make it an overall more enjoyable experience for everyone. It was an open club, with about 70 of us in it. We didn’t do much. All I really remember is arguing over what our tshirt would look like and collecting box tops. It was completely run by Mrs. Church and Mr. Lindsay, not really a STUDENT government, but hey, it was sixth grade.

In seventh grade, now in middle school, the numbers thinned to about 50.  The eighth grade “officers” were in a class with Mrs. Crumby and the seventh graders (still an open club) met before or after school about twice a month. Even still, I don’t remember doing much other than helping set up a couple of dances and organizing a canned food drive. Really the eighth graders were the ones running the show and it was still just something I felt cool to say I was in, but not something I was truly part of.

My eighth grade year things changed dramatically. Mrs. Crumby went back to school to get her masters so she could become a librarian, and Worley scrambled to find a new sponsor. They landed on Ms. Lewis, a new teacher who didn’t quite know what she was doing. A once well-oiled machine of a club came to a grinding halt. Eighth grade student council was no longer a class, and the peppy, fun loving Mrs. Crumby was no longer its fearless leader. Student council went from being a very in demand club to something hardly anyone knew about or wanted to be part of. That didn’t stop me. I still ran for student council president, won, and did my best to return it to what I thought was its former glory. That year we had eight students in the council. It was the first year in its history that officer positions were offered up to seventh graders. While I saw friends from the Wester student council (another middle school in our school district) go on fun team bonding retreats, I was trying to convince our principal that our longstanding tradition of having a Valentine’s dance was still worth having. I felt like we weren’t doing enough, but at the same time doing the most that we possibly could with our limited membership and strict administration.

Despite that, I still applied to be in student council in high school. They took three people from Worley and three from Wester. I remember doing a happy dance with my friend Bailey when we got our letters saying we got in. I couldn’t wait.

High school student council was finally what I always pictured: fully run by the students and planning the events that made school fun. Freshman year I was also in the marching band, so I didn’t get to dedicate as much time as I would have liked to the council, but I still loved it nevertheless. There were about thirty officers and I just loved the group dynamic and almost everything about it. I had finally really found MY people. The kind of people that genuinely enjoyed learning and applying yourself. The kind of people that were as uber organized and passionate and nerdy and amazing as me.

Sophomore year I was old enough to join the newspaper staff, so between that and student council, dropping band wasn’t that difficult. I was the student body historian (still on track with my plan), which I loved. It allowed me to be crafty and use Mod Podge, and if you know me, that is my dream. I was also the Teacher Appreciation Committee Head, which was also a lot of fun. I loved showering the teachers with love, because they really don’t get enough of it. I wrote for the newspaper, but I threw myself more into student council, because for as long as I could remember, it was my priority. I sort of thought maybe senior year I would go for an editor position on the newspaper, but I never put too much thought into it.

A few weeks ago, I ran for student body vice president. It looked like I would be running unopposed, but last minute, a friend of mine decided to run against me. I was really hurt, because he knew how much student council meant to me and just the way he did it was a little sneaky. I gave the election my all, but I still lost. I’ll be honest, I cried A LOT that afternoon. My plan had fallen apart, and on top of that, I couldn’t get it back on track because to run for student body president, you have to hold another student body position the year before. I ended up taking a class rep position, that way I could stay in the council, but it felt like a major demotion. I was heartbroken. Up until then, I lived in a world where if I worked hard enough, I usually got what I wanted.

A few days later, Mrs. Watson, the newspaper sponsor, asked me if I’d be interested in having an editor position next year. Since I was planning on putting most of my eggs in my student council basket next year, I didn’t apply for one, thinking I’d be too busy. I immediately said yes, and a few days later she announced that I would be the news editor. There will be five editors total, and I’ll be the only junior. I’m hoping this will lead to the editor-and-chief position my senior year, but we’ll see. I am so excited for this opportunity. I’ve loved being a staff writer this year, so I’m really looking forward to dedicating more time to the paper this coming year.

Writing has always been my passion, and I plan on majoring in journalism in college. This will look better on my writing resume for when I go to apply to journalism programs, and will give me more experience in general. I think the reason why I didn’t think of it before was because I’m the type of person that if I start something, I like to finish it, and finish it fabulously. Since I hopped on the student council route first, it was hard to get off of it and focus on something else.

I will still play a part in student council- I applied to be the Teacher Appreciation Committee Head again- but it will no longer be my number one priority. I’ve gotten over losing my election: I know my friend will do an excellent job. I’m now on a different path, and that’s okay. I guess it’s the old saying “if one door closes, another door will open.”

I don’t know where my high school career is going to take me in the next two years, but I’ve learned not to invest so much in plans I made when I was still in middle school.

So I lost, but as you can tell, I am far from a loser.

 

 

 

 

**And if you want to see pictures of the kick butt scrapbook I made, you can look in my photo gallery. I may do a post about it later.**

A Teenage Girl’s Take on the Transgender Bathroom Debate

When I made this blog, I wasn’t expecting this to be my first post. I was expecting it to be about something fairly happy-go-lucky such as a book review or something about student council. But as the insanity of this whole transgender bathroom debate increases, I can no longer keep my mouth shut. I know this is most likely just another opinion being thrown into the void, but I don’t care, so here goes.

I’d like to start off by saying that I am a sixteen year old straight, born and identified female. What does that mean? It means that this debate doesn’t affect my life at all, just like it doesn’t affect the millions of other people that are bitching about it (and I’m not one to cuss, so you know I’m not messing around).

Transgender people make up half of one percent of the population of the United States. That’s about 1.6 million people. That’s not a lot. They’re just normal people trying to live normal lives, and who are trying not to draw any more attention to themselves. When they go to the restroom, they’re doing what the rest of us are doing. Peeing, trying not to think about the last time this toilet seat has been cleaned, washing their hands, and getting OUT. They’re not peeping into your stall or molesting your children. Why? Because transgender people know how hard they’ve had to fight for their rights, and they’re not going to do anything to screw that up. Especially now.

Now, I am well aware there are risks to allowing transgender people to use the bathroom they identify with. I am not naïve, so I know there’s a high chance a few bad people will exploit this to gain access to women and children when they’re vulnerable. But that just goes back to educating the public on rape culture, and what’s appropriate. But that’s a whole other discussion. My point is, yes there are a few bad apples, but that doesn’t justify labeling a whole group of innocent people as potential pervs.

If anything, it can be more dangerous for transgender people to use the restroom they belong to biologically. If a transgender woman tried to use the men’s restroom (like North Carolina is insisting she do), she could easily be attacked. Or the other way around, I’m pretty sure if a transgender man walked into the women’s restroom, at least one woman would freak, even if he was only doing what his state was insisting him to do. The world is a scary enough place for transgender people that the last thing they should have to worry about is where they can pee.

And on top of that, the idea that school districts such as Rowan-Salisbury are now allowing their students to have pepper spray in the event that they run into a transgender student in the bathroom is just atrocious. I’m a sophomore in high school, and let me tell you- it ain’t easy. You’re balancing classwork and extracurriculars and jobs and relationships and planning out your future, all while trying to figure out who the hell you are as a person, and what that even means. If someone is brave enough to already have figured that out and has shown the world, they should be rewarded for that and shouldn’t have to worry about getting maced while using the toilet. Not to mention, school officials should never be purposefully encouraging violence.

But the bottom line is this. Let transgender people pee in the restroom they identify with. They have enough of other obstacles, that most people (like me) wouldn’t ever dream of having to deal with- and the restroom shouldn’t be one of them. There are so many bigger issues going on the world today like hunger, sex trafficking, global warming, etc. that we shouldn’t even still be wasting valuable time, money, and other resources talking about this. Besides, if you’re so worried about the genitals of the person in the stall next to you, they’re not the perv- you are.

-Abby