As a student leader, you have the opportunity to make a real difference in your school or college. You can help shape the culture and climate of your institution and make it a more positive and inclusive place for everyone.
But being a student leader is not all about power and prestige. It takes hard work, dedication, and a genuine commitment to make your school or college a better place.
If you’re up for the challenge, here’s what you need to know about becoming a student leader.
1. Know Your Rights And Responsibilities.
As a student leader, you have certain rights and responsibilities. You must understand what these are so that you can effectively exercise your role and authority.
For example, you have the right to:
- Be treated fairly and with respect by your school or college
- Freedom of expression
- Freedom of association
- Access to information
You also have responsibilities, such as:
- Promoting and upholding the values of your school or college
- Actively participating in the life of your school or college community
- Leading by example
2. Be A Role Model.
One of the most important things you can do as a student leader is to be a good role model. Remember that you are looked up to by other students, and your actions and words will carry a lot of weight.
So set the tone for positive behaviour and attitudes by behaving and speaking in a way that reflects the values of your school or college.
3. Communicate Effectively.
Effective communication is essential for any student leader. You need to be able to communicate your vision and goals clearly to others, and also listen carefully to what they have to say.
Some tips for effective communication include:
- Being clear and concise in your speech
- Paying attention to non-verbal cues such as body language and tone of voice
- Asking questions to clarify understanding
- Avoiding making assumptions about what others know or think
4. Be Organised.
As a student leader, you will often be called upon to organise events or initiatives. This means that you need to be good at planning and time management.
Some tips for being organised include:
- Breaking tasks down into small, manageable steps
- Creating a timeline or schedule for each task
- Delegating tasks to others where appropriate
- Keeping track of progress and making adjustments as needed
5. Be Decisive.
There will be times when you need to make tough decisions as a student leader. When this happens, you must be able to weigh up all the options and make a decision based on what you believe is best for your school or college.
Some tips for being decisive include:
- Taking the time to gather all the relevant information before making a decision
- Consulting with others to get different perspectives
- Trusting your instincts
- Being aware of the potential consequences of your decision
6. Be Open To Feedback.
As a student leader, you will sometimes receive feedback that is critical of your actions or decisions. You must be able to listen to this feedback and use it to improve your leadership skills.
Some tips for dealing with feedback include:
- Thanking the person for their feedback
- Asking clarifying questions where needed
- Reflecting on the points made and how they could be applied in future situations
- Avoid getting defensive or taking the feedback personally
7. Be Resilient.
There will be times when things don’t go according to plan, or you face setbacks and challenges. As a student leader, you must be able to cope with these challenges and continue working towards your goals.
Some tips for being resilient include:
- Keeping things in perspective
- Focusing on the things you can control
- Making a plan of action
- Seeking support from others when needed
8. Be Flexible.
Things change all the time, and as a student leader, you need to be able to adapt to these changes. This might mean changing your plans at short notice or being open to new ideas and approaches.
Some tips for being flexible include:
- Being open to change
- Keeping an open mind
- Thinking creatively
- Being willing to try new things
9. Be Honest.
Honesty is a key characteristic of any good leader. You need to be honest with yourself and others and show that you can be trusted. This means being truthful, transparent and consistent in your words and actions.
Some tips for being honest include:
- Being truthful in what you say and do
- Communicating openly and honestly with others
- Acting with integrity
- Admitting when you make a mistake
10. Be Positive.
As a student leader, you must remain upbeat, even when things are tough. This can be contagious and help to motivate others to achieve their goals.
Some tips for being positive include:
- Focusing on the good rather than the bad
- Looking for the silver lining in every situation
- Staying optimistic even when things are challenging
- Encouraging others to stay positive too
Check out the leader in me for related readings.