Student Voices: Campaign Nerves | Work of Arts
Student Voices: Campaign Nerves | Work of Arts

Student Voices: Campaign Nerves

International student blogger overcomes her fear and becomes a student leader

After two weeks of campaigning, I was recently elected as vice president of Schäffer Hall for the Lister Hall Students’ Association, and as Arts Councillor for SU council and General Faculties Council. All of this feels surreal, because three years ago, I was still an international student always overthinking how to speak English “perfectly” without grammar mistakes, and now I am brave enough to have done several public speeches in front of people during campaigns, even though my oral English is still not perfect.

I am so thankful for the support from every single one of the people who helped me and voted for me in this amazing campaign journey. I would like to share what I learned, and why you should believe in yourself and run for a position that you really want to commit your passion and time to.

You will never know how good you can be until you try.

Running a campaign really helped me grow a lot — physically, mentally and emotionally. This was absolutely one of the most valuable experiences in my life that will influence me for a lifetime. Because English is not my first language, I worried about the public speech part before I decided to run the campaign: what if I have grammar mistakes during the Q & A part? What if I have a great idea but just don’t know how to convey the meaning with the accurate professional terms? 

But you will never know how good you can be until you try, and after receiving encouraging words from my friends, I decided I should at least try. Language shouldn’t be a barrier to stop you from doing what you want to do. Over the past three years, I’ve tried very hard to improve my oral English, and now it’s the time to try public speaking in a language that’s not my mother tongue.

Language shouldn’t be a barrier to stop you from doing what you want to do.

What did I learn? My biggest obstacle was fear. People are nice, and they are willing to listen. What you can do is speak out, let your voice get heard by students, show them how passionate you are and let them know confidently that you can help get their voices heard as well.

Of course, I couldn’t have gotten this far without the support from the amazing people I know. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice when you need help. You never know how good you can be and how far you can go if you believe in yourself!


Student Voices is a WOA blog feature that presents the experiences and viewpoints of current Arts students. Through their posts, you’ll experience the creativity and passion of our students as they present glimpses into student life. The views and opinions expressed within these posts are solely those of the authors.

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About Meijun Chen

Meijun Chen

Meijun Chen is an outgoing third year international student from China, majoring in music and minoring in economics. She loves playing the clarinet and piano, and attending concerts. Dodgeball, tennis and basketball are her other favourite activities. She is currently the SU Lister Student Representative and Peer Tutor in Lister Centre, treasurer of the University Symphonic Wind Ensemble, and a volunteer with the UA International Global Academic Leadership Development (GALD) program. She has travelled to more than 15 countries and regions for music cultural communications and competitions. These experiences not only deepened her cultural understanding, but also strengthened her interpersonal, organizational and multitasking skills.