By Annie Bierman. Published April 25, 2011.

This past year, I have had the opportunity to be President of the student body. The position was something I never thought I would have or even want to have when I became a Senator of SGA my first-year at McKendree. It certainly has been a great adventure, though.

I can definitely say that I have realized that being president is not just a résumé filler. It has its difficulties certainly. Being responsible sometimes, can eliminate some fun and entertain in a college student’s life. I haven’t felt like a student since last April when I obtained the position; I think about how every thing I do and every action I take reflects on me, SGA, and most importantly, McKendree. Another difficulty I have is trying to do it all. Between schoolwork, graduate school applications, other extracurricular activities, and president duties, time is nonexistent. Sometimes I have to make difficult decisions and cut certain things out. To be able to function as well-nourished and sufficiently rested college student, however, something’s got to give once in a while. Being diplomatic and unbiased all of the time is also something I have struggled with. Sometimes it has been hard to remember that I needed to be fair when I really just wanted to be selfish or self-serving. Overcoming this difficulty, however, is one of the best things I have been able to take from the position.

There have been difficulties, but the accomplishments and opportunities I have had outweigh all the difficulties. I’ve been able to overcome one of my greatest fears: public speaking. I have now spoken in front of audiences of about 700 people at Convocation, to McKendree’s Board of Trustees, and to incoming transfer students. Every single time I speak, I become a little less nervous and a little more confident. One of my favorite things this school year was the opportunity to participate in the Groundbreaking ceremony for the new dorms, and as a bonus, wear an awesome hardhat. Influencing change in order to improve McKendree for current and future students has been the absolute most rewarding part of the job. I feel like I have made a difference through helping with big and small projects alike; sharing my opinions with the committees of which I participate; and expressing my concerns about McKendree with members of the administration.

I definitely do not regret taking on the position, even with the downsides. As cheesy as it may sound, I have grown as a person and even matured a bit. I think I am now better prepared to handle situations in my professional career because of it. I know not everyone can be president, but I highly encourage everyone to take on a little more responsibility and a little more risk in life; it is completely worth it. Trust me.

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