Elections at Swansea

Hi there, my post today isn’t about any specific day or moment of the month but rather a personal moment in my life at Swansea Uni. As you are all aware, a couple of weeks before we had the student’s union elections going on where many students stood up for various positions. I was one of the students, running for a part time officer of international student’s officer. Now let me tell you a little more about my ¬†journey…

It all started with me receiving a normal email like every other student, it had a list of activities going on in the university and amongst those was one very interesting one to me; it was to nominate yourself to run for a position – I looked at the entire list and saw the one that reflected me the most was Internationals Officer. Little did i know of what i got myself into when i clicked the ‘submit’ button. A few days passed and I received an Email, asking me to attend a compulsory meeting on the Friday the 24th of February. I thought it would just be a normal briefing where they would read out the rules to us and just other basic things, but oh well! I was in for a surprise when I walked into the doors of the mosaic.
Everyone was being handed out bundles of papers, specifically designed for their role, candidate’s photographs were being taken. I walked in, and to my right i saw rows of chairs lined up with people sitting in groups, and a line of others standing at the back waiting for their photograph to be taken, in this small crowd i saw a friendly face who waved me over to come sit next to her and her friend. After being handed my bundle of papers, they started a PowerPoint presentation, and that is when I realised it was not going to be just students voting for you, but I would have to campaign for it. We were being given details for our budgets, and being told of the rules for making posters, flyers and manifestos. Half way through the meeting my mind was racing on to thoughts like how am I ever going to do this, why did I even apply, I should just back out. I was scared for some unknown reason.
When I clicked on ‘submit’ I didn’t think I would have to be campaigning for this post, but since I had already started it, giving up was not an option and so i decided to try my best. I went home, finished my manifesto, and over the next week started working on the flyers and posters (getting help from a few of my friends), campaigning on Facebook and getting people to vote. It wasn’t an easy job. I tried standing outside Fulton House to hand out my flyers, but to my surprise it was a mission! People would just walk away, or just refuse. It can be disheartening, but well, no one said campaigning was easy. When people started walking away I thought once again to myself, is it worth running for a post like this… but now I can say yes it definitely is!
At the end, I could say I had tried my best, maybe I could have done a bit more, but I was proud of myself. Even though I did not get the post I was running for I was happy, this was because I did not give up and run away at the first meeting, despite having the strong urge to do it. My oppositions became my friends, I got a whole new experience. I may have not gotten the post this year, but I am definitely going to run again next year.

I share this story, in order to send out a message to everyone, do as much as you can, be a part of as many things as you can, challenge yourself and never give up. You will get a lot out of it, not just addition to your CV but friends, memories and experiences that you will always be able to talk about. My journey started with me no knowing what I was getting into, but now I look back and am glad I clicked submit. It was definitely worth giving a try, and you all should to!

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