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I Write. Sometimes. Follow me on Twitter: @MichaelP93

When thinking about some of the most life-changing experiences of my life, I always end up coming back to this one — and there are a few reasons for that. Firstly, because it is responsible for molding me into the person I am today. And secondly, because it very nearly didn't happen. Becoming Head Boy might seem like an insignificant worry to many people, but for a 17 year old boy with a lack of self-confidence, it was a really big deal. But who could have known that it would lead to the most fun, challenging and rewarding year of that teenager's life? Certainly not me, that's for sure.

Head Boy...Me?

After six successful years in High School, I was presented with an opportunity to make the final one a little bit different — by applying for the post of Head Boy. When considering it, I thought about how cool it would be to do something outside the norm and break the mold of my usual routine. But then like usual, I talked myself out of it, thinking it was silly of me to even consider myself for such an opportunity. After all, I was doing perfectly fine. Don't get me wrong, I was never at the top of the social food chain, but I had no problem with that. I studied hard, I had my own friends and I knew I could crank out another great year at school. Why risk making it any different when you have all you need, right?

But after discussing the subject with my Mom, I had a change of heart. She reminded me of all the great things that could come from such an opportunity like this one — confidence, self-worth and a chance to give back to the school that gave me so much. And when discussing it out loud, it just seemed so much clearer.

So after thinking about it a little longer, I sent off my application. To say I was nervous would have been an understatement. I was convinced that I wasn't going to get it — I mean, why would I? Some of the other boys who had applied were more popular, more confident and all round better speakers. But somehow, the follow-up interview went well, and the next week I got the post! I know, right — I couldn't believe it either!

New Year, New Me

I was happy to have that Summer off to prepare myself for the year that would follow. And when my final year of High School arrived, it wasn't long before duty called. AI knew everyone on our Leadership Team quite well. But the best part about it was that I had both my twin brother and my best friend on the team with me — how awesome was that?

But more than that, being Head Boy allowed me to get to know some people who I never really got the opportunity to before — specifically the Head Girl. It's amazing how you can know someone for six years but never really get to know them. But my final year changed all that, and she ended up becoming a great friend who always had my back. Together, we constantly had to organize things — now, I was normally an organized person, I just didn't like organizing things. But as a team, we got through it. School events, prizegivings, Dinner Dances — you name it, we organized it. And I found that as the year went on, I actually looked forward to organizing events.

Basically me at the beginning.
Basically me at the beginning.

Although it could be stressful at times, we all ended up having so much fun doing it. Whether we were stressing about speaking at a public event, or secretly rocking out to the choir's performance of "Let It Be" behind the curtain — there was always fun to be had. Quite literally, there was never a dull moment.

Moreover, having that kind of responsibility was really educational, and prepared me well for the years that followed. Knowing that your teachers, classmates and peers trusted you with important tasks and information was also a really rewarding feeling. It helped me to grow as a person, taking on the concerns of other people and bringing them up at team meetings.

And I didn't just benefit from the role within the school. Being a part of the Leadership Team ended up introducing me to a whole new group of friends. Before this, I was never really an outgoing person, but that year me and my brother and our best friend all ended up going out with our new group of friends a lot. And I suddenly found myself bonding with people I had barely spoken to before. Birthday parties, movie nights and a heck of a lot of dinners later, we all ended up becoming really close friends. And in doing so, I realized what I had been shut off from before. Had I not applied for the post, I would not have become friends with some of those people, most of whom I still consider great friends today.

The Best Chance I Have Ever Taken

By the time the end of the year had rolled around, public speaking was just another part of High School life. Sure, it was always a little scary, but I had gotten so used to it that it had become second nature. I had made a ton of new friends, while always making time for my old ones. And meeting new people suddenly didn't seem so scary.

After six great years at a High School I loved, I know I could have had an equally as great seventh. But thanks to some stellar advice, a great teammate and one unbelievable journey, it ended up being the most extraordinary year of my life so far. But it wouldn't have happened if I hadn't taken that chance. In that year, I became much more confident in myself and ended up doing a lot more public speaking than I had ever planned to. But most of all, I grew as a person. Becoming Head Boy made me the person I am today, and I am very thankful for everything I experienced during that time.

So next time you're nervous about taking a leap of faith, just go for it! It might end up being the best decision you ever make. I couldn't have asked for a better final year at school, and it was all down to taking that chance. And if you asked me if I would do it all again, the answer is quite simple — you bet!

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