Lauren MacLean is president of the Red River College Students’ Association. She is completing her second year of Business Administration with an accounting major. After receiving her RRC diploma she plans to continue her studies towards a Commerce degree.
School is enough to stress anyone out, particularly at a fast-paced applied institution like Red River College.
In my program, Business Administration, we take six classes at a time. So when I decided to run to be the VP External of the Red River College Students’ Association (RRCSA) in February of my first year, it wasn’t an easy decision. I knew things were going to be intense and I wasn’t sure if I could do it, so I turned to my personal supports for advice.
I asked my parents, grandparents, sister, teachers, the VP External at the time and my friends what they thought. I received contrasting advice at times, everything from that they thought I would be fabulous at the job to others saying it was too much for me and that I would likely quit early.
In the end, I decided to go for it. After receiving the great news that I was voted in, I extended my program and delayed my graduation by one year so I could work with the RRCSA. I was so nervous and scared that going into my first term I was half-expecting my marks to tank and to have to resign. I figured I would be overwhelmed with responsibilities that I would collapse into a teary mess.
Then, on May 1, 2013 when it actually came time for me to step into the role, I was soaring! Each day got better and better as I launched projects with my team and flew around the country representing the RRCSA at conferences. It was like a light came on and I immediately understood what it meant to be driven, want to give back and thrive under pressure.
Then school hit, and man the pressure on! I went from having time to work on things, to having lightning-fast deadlines. Right before winter break hit was the most difficult time as I was attempting to tie up what felt like hundreds of loose ends before everyone left. December was the worst month I’d had in a long time.
But the funny thing is, I never once considered quitting. It’s like that option didn’t exist. I simply didn’t want or need an exit, no matter how hard things got. Through the all-nighters, massive projects and tight deadlines, I was still having fun! My support network was growing and soon my stress level became more manageable, which gave me the confidence to continue on.
This experience is what gave me the strength to run for President this year. Believe me, this position is a whole other beast, but every day I’m reminded of how many amazing people work and go to school at RRC. There’s simply no challenge I wouldn’t take on for these people, especially because I know I’m not in this alone. When the going gets tough, I’m not afraid or ashamed to turn to my support network to help get me through.