By Charles Lj Sido | October 11, 2023
Student leaders are often called BS Org students. It is an inside joke used to tease the students who choose to serve the studentry despite their busy academic schedules. Some are involved in genuinely serving the university and college, while others see it as a stepping stone to their chosen career path in the future.
There are a lot of benefits and learning opportunities for being a leader. You are lucky if you have the opportunity and the courage to start it in school organizations. At Silliman University, you can work with diverse leaders across and outside the country—an ideal starter for student leaders who dream of expanding their wings when they leave the halls and portals of Silliman.
But is it important enough to compromise on academic performance?
For some, student leadership is about getting connections and networks. But after working closely with these student leaders, I realized it is more than that. It is also a selfless act of being the student body’s voice, lobbying concerns and sentiments, and putting them into action like what the Silliman University Student Government representatives do.
Although most see this as a noble act, the journey to becoming a student leader has its own share of hurdles.
Entering student leadership is more than having the courage and willingness to do so. You will be subjected to situations that force you to work with people of different mindsets and skills. And when this happens, you might experience some ego-checking. Because of this, it takes a village to genuinely work with and serve a diverse community of students.
You might encounter people who are hard to please and co-officers who are close-minded with your suggestions and ideas. Meanwhile, some people are very much capable of doing things you cannot do. People who know much better than you are always present; so criticism should be taken as an opportunity to improve. This marks a crucial stride towards a versatile and highly effective leader.
I have had the chance to work with different student leaders from high school to now. I grasped how to work with people of different economic backgrounds and address different attitudes and situations.
As the vice-governor external of the Kapunungan sa mga Mass Communicators and the social media and web manager of the Weekly Sillimanian, running from Emilio T. Yap Hall to Oriental Hall has become my routine this semester. In fact, there were times that I had to go home past midnight from school to do the responsibilities of my two organizations.
Despite all this effort, I realized that I could concentrate my resources on doing my responsibilities from these organizations, but I can’t make the same effort for my academic responsibilities. These actions may have contributed to the burden I carry today—something that I must be wary of and learn from.
Soon, I will look back on this experience and laugh at how much more active I am in my extracurricular activities than my academics to the extent of doing things that far. I realized I don’t need to risk one thing for the other, given that both contribute significant yet different opportunities for development.