With CCA elections approaching, some of you might be thinking of running for a CCA leadership position. As a sports CCAL in the past, this piece can be considered as a self-reflection of my CCA journey, as well as advice for those keen on becoming a CCAL.
Things to consider if you want to run
This should be the most important factor that you should consider. As a JC student, academics should be your #1 priority. If you are already struggling with academics without the commitment of being a CCAL, what makes you think that you can juggle both at the same time? I would feel really guilty if I cannot be a good CCAL because I have to catch up on my studies. In my opinion, a good benchmark would be that you are at least on pace with school lectures and tutorials. (If you need any study tips, feel free to visit our study guide here.)
Friends + Family
To me, the responsibility placed on a CCAL doesn’t end when CCA ends. I feel that it’s important for me to check up on my teammates occasionally to make sure they are doing okay, regularly commit time to discuss with my EXCO about how to improve training, go out with the team for weekly after-training dinners, and plan camps or internal competitions during the holidays. Basically, being a committed CCAL would take up a large amount of your time. This would mean that you would have less time for your friends and family (and partner).
With all the time you need to commit to studies, CCA, friends and family, there may be simply no time for yourself. Taking time off to simply relax and chill to avoid burnout is really crucial to ensure the sustainability of juggling many commitments at once. If you find that you already have very little time to yourself now, you may need to reconsider. Prioritise your mental health!
2. Reasons for running
Be true to yourself: why do you actually want to run for CCAL?
I think there is nothing shameful in admitting that it would look good on your portfolio, because it’s true (if you take a look at basically any scholarship, they want students that demonstrate “leadership qualities”).
Despite this, I feel that if you only have a self-serving reason to become a CCAL, it may be difficult to fully commit yourself to do your very best as a leader. Instead, you would probably just do enough.
So you may be wondering: what then is a better, or less self-serving reason?
In my opinion, a good reason would
- place greater importance on the process rather than the outcome.
- focus on what you can do for others instead of for yourself.
So for example, becoming a CCAL because you want a nice addition to your portfolio would fail both criteria. Wanting to bring back the championship for the school would pass (b), but fail (a). Wanting to become a more confident person through the process of leadership would pass (a), but fail (b). A reason that would pass both criteria could be simply trying to make a difference to your teammates’ JC experience. Now, it does seem like the criteria I propose are extremely stringent and unforgiving, but it is for good reason.
A reason that focuses on the process ensures that you will be okay with simply doing your best, even if the outcome might be disappointing. A reason that prioritises what you do for others would serve as a constant reminder to yourself to have the highest standards for yourself and do your best to help others.
Of course, you can have a combination of many reasons but to me, your main reason should pass both criteria. This is just my personal opinion and what I’ve learnt in retrospect, so take it with a pinch of salt.
Now that’s all for Part 1! Do keep a look out for Part 2 in our next blog post! 🙂