The Popularity Contest.

20 Mar

So in our university, it’s gotten to the stage where committees of old societies are moving aside and making way for the new. A couple of my friends recently took part in the election for the film society, and were pleased to find they were mostly unopposed. While they didn’t all get the exact position they were after, they all came away with some sort of new role, leaving them happy with themselves, and me happy for them.

But despite my place in the Film society, I opted not to take part. I had my eyes set on bigger game. Or at least from my perspective. I’d recently joined a society/organisation of sorts, and had decided that that is where I wanted to take my place amongst a committee.

Similarly, I had been told that most roles are given out after the elections, as so few candidates usually stepped up to take part. I was confident that I would be able to secure a role. I still am, for the most part. From the looks of things, most of the roles are going uncontested, and some roles no one seems to want. It was an easy in. So I took the opposite approach and decided to go for a role that I knew I would have some contest in. Why? Truth be told, I’m not even sure. It sounded interesting enough, and I thought why not. I also wasn’t entirely sure that my peer had settled on which position he wanted. But inevitably, he did, and now we’re rivals in the softest sense of the word.

It’s nice, for the most part, there are no hard feelings, and everyone in the election will most probably come out with some sort of role. It’s a win-win situation for all. Of course, the reason I can happily say all of this now is because it hasn’t happened yet. Elections are tomorrow, and I’ve got no idea what I’m going to say in my speech.

And herein lies the problem. Although I’m most certainly wrong about this, its come to my attention that it may not matter what I say tomorrow. I’ve only spoken to my ‘competitor’ once, and he’s a friendly enough guy. I’d vote for him, truth be told, if I weren’t running against him. But the role in question is rather limited in its reach. There’s only so much responsibility we can take on, and only so many tasks we can compete, which really leaves it a competition of who has the most experience, and who can think of the most leftfield ideas. But I’ve only been with the group for a month; I’m still learning the ropes, and so chances are any ideas I come up with won’t be plausible. Which leaves it down to a contest of who is more charismatic.

Now I’m not saying I’m unpopular, I’m comfortable with who I’m friends with, and a lot of the time, people seem to claim I ‘know everyone’ (although I have my doubts on that one, I think it’s just a matter of timing and location). Unfortunately, I haven’t yet had time to get to know everyone in this new group, whereas my ‘opponent’ knows several people from outside. He’s got an in, and it’s probably going to come in pretty handy.

But none of that is important. As I said, chances are, we’ll all come away with a position whether we win the election or not. I’m just nervous is all, more about having to present than actually winning or losing.

But it’s made me think about how our whole education system seems to be based on popularity contests. We see it everywhere; it’s hardly a secret. I think back to Primary School sports lessons, when they were picking out the football team. I’d forgotten about this until recently, but I was usually one of the last to be picked, unless by some luck one of my friends (another outsider, of sorts) was captain. But to all the sporty popular kids, I was a no go. Later, I became closer to the other groups, as I think is the case as you near the end of any school period, but often it was at the expense of another classmate, unfortunately.

Urgh, stopped to talk to a house mate and I’ve lost my flow. I might have to tidy this up and continue in a part 2.

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Posted by on March 20, 2014 in Life


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