Image: Exec/Unsplash
Image: Unsplash

So you didn’t make it onto a society exec…

Society exec election season has come and gone, with new executive committees preparing to take up their roles for the start of Term 3. Inevitably, however, there are plenty of us out there who have been disappointed after not getting the positions we wanted. I am one of them.

In Week 9, I ran for an exec role in this very society. I was anticipating not to get it, given the level of competition for the role and also the talent of my competitors. Things turned out how I thought they might, but it still disappointed me, more than I was anticipating it would.

My first piece of advice for how to cope if you don’t get a role that you were hoping for is that expecting the worst as a means of self-preservation does not work. If anything, it’s counterproductive, and perhaps even damaging to yourself even if you tell yourself you are just being realistic. There is no real way you can prevent disappointment if you don’t get what you want – you have to deal with it as it comes. Besides, we get disappointed because we care, and if you aren’t disappointed, perhaps you didn’t really want the role after all.

Look out for any opportunities that come up in by-elections

On the subject of disappointment, let yourself feel disappointed. Treat yourself as if you have just been dumped, without feeling any guilt. Have some ice cream, or a giant slice of cake, or anything else you fancy to cheer you up. Watch Netflix in bed, take the afternoon off from essay writing, make a nice meal. Self-care is so important, however you like to practice it.

If being on an exec was that important to you, look out for any opportunities that come up in by-elections. These will take place if nobody applies for a certain position or if the society votes to re-open nominations. Even if it wasn’t what you originally wanted, it is still an opportunity for you to expand your C.V and you could even have a better experience than you might have done otherwise.

There might be other positives to not getting the position. Time is an obvious one as it means you can put more into your degree, have more time to relax or devote to working on other personal projects. If you don’t see the potential silver linings straight away, chances are you will in time.

Think of the rejection as character building

This should go without saying, but don’t let bitterness take hold either. Accept the loss gracefully and try not to hold any animosity towards whoever did get the position you wanted. Try not to even keep negative thoughts in your head either as it’s a shallow, ineffective way of making yourself feel better and a waste of all-too-scarce headspace and energy. Remain a gracious loser and stick to the moral high ground.

Let’s face it – rejection sucks for everyone, and, likely, an exec rejection won’t be the last you encounter in life, especially if a job search is looming. Think of the rejection as character building, if it helps, and maybe even useful material for an interview if you are asked to give practical examples of your resilience.

If you are in your first year, take comfort in the fact you can try again for the role next year, as I certainly plan to do. Chin up, and remember, as cliché as it can be, that time can heal all.

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