New Year, new committee

As a teenager, getting involved in school can seem like one of the most difficult things to do -- but it doesn’t have to be.

After a day of classes, tests and quizzes, it’s natural for many of us to want to spend time procrastinating on homework, watching TV shows, and generally being anywhere other than school. Unfortunately, whenever we rush out of the school doors at 3:00, we miss out on all the advantages that come with extracurriculars, clubs, and committees!

One of our best ideas in high school so far, has been deciding to join the student council. School had been just another part of our day, one that we regularly found ourselves dreading. We were confined to our class schedule, and caught in an endless cycle. Wake up, go to school, go home, do homework, sleep. Repeat. Some of us have jobs, volunteering, and chores, but even that can fit into your routine after a while.

For both of us, the Student Life Association was like a breath of fresh air; we found ourselves meeting and becoming closer to teachers, getting to know people from different grades, and challenging ourselves in a way that textbooks and classwork couldn’t. It even led us, and many others, to join the English Montreal School Board Advisory Committee (EMSAC), and discuss different aspects of our education with students from all around Montreal.

We know it can be very intimidating to step out of your comfort zone and try new things, especially when you’re surrounded by unfamiliar faces--we’ve been there!--but the best advice we can give you is to take a deep breath, and just give it a shot. Go to the first meeting, talk to the teacher in charge, or past members, and fake it ‘till you make it. Once you get over the initial scare, the rest will come easily. You’ll start to recognize and say hi to new people in the hallways, become more confident in your day-to-day life, and look forward to learning something new every Wednesday, Friday, or Monday afternoon. The skills you’ll develop and learn during these activities will come in handy later on, and, in the end, the rewarding feeling of completing a sporting event, a debate competition or planning a dance will surpass everything. It becomes enough to make you forget about all the stress surrounding your teenage life, even if only for an hour.

Before we leave high school, it’s up to us to make memories and leave our mark. If you find a balance between the social, academic, and extracurricular aspects of your life, you’ll manage either to break your endless cycle completely, or change it to one that’s exciting, inviting, and rewarding. Why not give it a shot?

Brooks Reid-Constantin and Lily Puterman-Salzman are two students in grade 11 and 10, respectively, at Royal West Academy. They are apart of various extracurriculars activities and committees, including Student Life Association, Yearbook Committee, and EMSAC, among others