Guest Writer | Chris Johnson
Death is going to happen. We’re all pretty much resigned to it. In fact, if death wasn’t coming, who knows what we’d do with our time. We don’t have that problem. We do however have the issue of what we are actually going to do with our time, since its finite nature makes it precious. For me, about a year and a half of that precious lifetime was spent as Century’s Student Senate Director of Legislation. No, I don’t know precisely what it means either. I mean, I pretty much know. If someone asks me if I actually mess with legislation, like political stuff, the best I conjure up is “erm, sometimes”. I’ve worn a lot of hats in this line of work. Meeting-guy, PR Writer, Form Distributor, Impromptu Club Liaison, Knows-what’s-up-at-the-capital guy, etc… Accordingly, it’s complicated.
As a public college’s Student Senate we are legally part of a parent organization, the Minnesota State College and Student Association. More than anyone else, my job was to interact with and even act on behalf of that group, comprised of a disparate group of fellow student senate execs and senators from around the state. Doing so has demanded my weekends and mid-week afternoons. It’s been hard. The time commitment is taxing, the challenges of the duties scaling two to one with your abilities, and of course, there is no instruction manual. In short order my calendar was full up with obligations- Talk to our college president, go to this meeting, hand out these forms, be knowledgeable about x, y and z. Ugh! This is coming from a guy whose idea of a good time is a long night with a video game and a thermos of sweet tea. When senate came into my life even that changed, I used to be all about the tea, but I’ve had so much exposure to coffee at the monthly conferences, I’ve started to like coffee. I used to hate the stuff. But difficulty, like coffee, is an acquired taste, and it carries the same addiction…
Now, I won’t say that there weren’t times when it was harder than just “hard”. Hanging in our senate office window is a quote from Gandhi. “I suppose at one time leadership meant big muscles, but now it means getting along with people.” And he’s right. It wasn’t just me working at our mission to make public college a better place, it was our whole senate team over the year and a half I worked the position. Senate is people, and when you’re exhausted, thinking about homework and what you’d rather be doing as you pack your bag into an overhead compartment on the return leg from Washington D.C, it’s the people that get you to come back and be happy about your effort, to be proud of your weariness. I can’t claim all the victories that other people have had in their endeavors to do something worthwhile at this stage of life, but I am nonetheless proud of my weariness, it was worth it.