You may have seen me, your friendly neighbourhood VP Academic Rep, out promoting elections over the past few days. On Wednesday night I went around Founders & Main Halls handing out pasta and elections propaganda. It’s a good time!
Right now we’re in our nominations period – meaning if you or someone you know is thinking of standing, or would like more information, the time is now! You can see information on our website here.
But when you have decided to stand, how do you go about it? When you have decided to stand, what are the key things to remember during campaigning?
We at the Students’ Union are doing workshops on all of this next week, but I just wanted to write a blog on one of the key things during elections that everyone forgets about, but is super, super important.
As someone with anxiety, I’m being 100% honest when I say that campaign week was one of the worst weeks of my life. I barely ate, didn’t sleep, & made myself very, very sick.
On top of campaigning it was the final week before my second year play, so as well as campaigning I was rehearsing and studying, as many people do when running in SU elections.
My campaign team consisted of me, & I had a little help from three friends, although due to their own commitments with university and work, they were unable to help me too much.
I should’ve taken time out to take care of myself, and I didn’t. And I struggled massively with mental health and physical health issues during-and-post elections because of the strain and stress I put myself through.
Campaigning is intimidating, & there will be people running who look like they have it all together, & will have more experience. That 1000% does not mean they are guaranteed to win, & that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t run.
But the outcome of the election is NOT the be all and end all.
It gets really intense, and at points you may genuinely feel like you have to win. But losing an election isn’t the end. I know, because I lost an election before I ran for Vice President. And look at that, I won second time round.
Losing doesn’t mean you weren’t a good candidate, and it does not define or determine you.
I have a problem now that I seem to run in every election that comes up, (I don’t seem able to control myself ) & every time I put myself forward I get the same fear. And I still struggle to eat & I still struggle to sleep. But I know that it’s worth it, & I know that I can push myself through it, & I know that I can do it. It just took taking the plunge.
If you’re thinking about running but are held back because of worry and stress or mental health reasons please drop me a message or come & have a chat.
Lots of love,
Vice President Academic Representation