Another Popularity Contest This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   Ah, yes. America - thegreatest democracy in the world. Our constitutional freedoms, of course,must be given to high school students as well. Someone decided kidsshould get a taste of the democratic process by electing a classpresident, vice president, secretary and treasurer, and it was a goodidea - in theory.

The week before elections is fun for thecandidates and their supporters. They put up posters, write and deliverspeeches and campaign. After the primaries, however, the whole thingbegins to make me sick. The winners - those who advance to the finalelection - usually are not the ones who stood up and promised to make achange. They are the popular kids, students who are indifferent to theresponsibility of class office and simply want more verification oftheir social status. The office-seekers who won support by promising towork hard and toiled away putting up posters are the ones who will getmy vote.

After the final election, I anxiously check the resultsand am disillusioned with what I see - our new class officers are themost popular candidates. They didn't promise anything exceptional ormake outstanding speeches. They didn't even campaign. I think one ofthem may have bothered to put up two or three posters, but that isn'tanything compared to the time other candidates spent making sure theirplacards hung in every stairway. The popular candidates were soconfident they would win simply because of their friends, they couldn'tbe bothered to try to convince those outside their social group why theyshould be elected. That makes it clear to me where I stand on theirpriority list. I'm pretty sure I won't be talking to the peoplerepresenting my class about any issues important to me. As far as I'mconcerned, they've already made it clear my opinion doesn'tmatter.

School elections are not the only times the importance ofpopularity becomes obvious, but they are one of the fewschool-sanctioned ones. That's probably why they're so upsetting to manystudents. The message these elections send is that popularity is moreimportant than doing a job well. Everyone outside the social elite feelscheated, but there is little we can do. The power lies in the hands ofthose with the most friends and everyone knows that. It is just anotherfact of high school life that shouldn't be accepted, but is. All I cansay is that if high school is really a microcosm of the real world, theelection process doesn't sound all that great to me anymore.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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