It’s application season! At the beginning of spring term for each school year, students are given the opportunity to apply for various leadership positions across campus, including becoming a part Stevenson student ambassador program or being chosen as a prefect in the dorms. It is not only a chance for students to demonstrate their leadership skills and interpersonal abilities but also good practice for the college application process to write about their personal qualities and create strong connections with our faculty. The application consists of written statements, peer and faculty recommendations, and interviews, all of which are extremely similar to the college applications.
I was extremely attracted by the prefect position, as I remember my freshman year prefects being a big source of help and guidance when I had first arrived at Stevenson. This experience of moving across the world, away from my family, daunted me, and my prefects were there to help me adjust and feel welcome in this new environment. Having lived on campus for two years, I was determined to become a prefect in my sophomore year and recreate the same sense of safety that I felt for others. Despite my efforts, I wasn’t chosen as a prefect.
The afternoon that the decision came out, I spent hours in my room crying. I was devastated that I could no longer do what I had wanted. The feeling of being rejected is difficult to accept, especially by a fifteen year-old who never had much trouble achieving the goals that she had set for herself. As this was a decision that was not up to my authority, I spent a great amount of time wondering why I was not chosen. What qualities did others possess that I didn’t have?
In search of some guidance and advice as to how to move forward from this situation, I reached out to my advisor Mr. Elmore. Hearing my disappointment at the results, he assured me that the decision did not reflect my whole character. Many were qualified for the position, and there were simply a limited amount of spots. It will be the same experience for college decisions, and rejection from one opportunity should not hinder the blooming of another. Though I was not a junior prefect this year, I was still able to make many connections with new students and freshmen, as well as focus on myself and work towards my personal goals. In the moment, rejection may seem like failure, but in retrospect, it could just be one event in your life that led to many other opened doors. This year, as I complete the application once again, I continue to remind myself that some of the most valuable lessons I've learned have been from spontaneous opportunities of growth and to embrace the unexpected and take risks, knowing that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel and a new land for authentic exploration and success.
A Christmas activity in my dorm Day Hall. Despite not being a prefect, I still found many opportunities to connect with others and meet new students throughout this year.