Leaders at OHS give new meaning to the word

Victoria Kirova, Features Editor

The world is full of leaders. Whether it be a coach, a president, or an editor-in-chief, these people take initiative, support their peers, and serve as examples for their communities. The job of these leaders is one that requires a substantial amount of passion and perseverance, but these leadership positions also allow individuals to receive rewarding benefits for themselves and others. 

The large selection of clubs at OHS serves in granting students diverse opportunities to connect with others and discover their interests. Thankfully, leaders are able to inspire others to be a part of these organizations, and feel a sense of pride knowing that they are stepping outside of their comfort zone and exploring new ideas. One such club that demonstrates this mindset is Speech and Debate. 

“I think being a leader just means listening to everyone’s input and really trying to strike out because—especially in a club like Speech and Debate—there’s a lot of different opinions and ways to approach how to construct an argument,” said Afzal Ariff, senior. 

In every aspect of life, it is essential to listen to other ideas and perspectives so that one can better understand the people around them. This connection can also lead people to find comfort in the organizations that they choose to join. 

“I really wanted a place where students could come and speak their mind about issues and really have a place that translates their passion into action,” Ariff said.

Many people aspire to be leaders for others, but it can be challenging to recognize the opportunities when they arise. However, what some people fail to realize is that being a leader is an attitude, rather than a position. 

“I think being a leader doesn’t always have to be a role. I think it’s just a mindset. If you’re always trying to uplift members of your community, or the people around you, then I think you are a leader,” Ariff said.  

Similarly, with leadership, the real power comes from the realization that they are not alone in this journey. Leaders are able to shape people’s lives, and a big part of this is recognizing that collaborating with others leads to the most successful solutions. 

“Being a leader for me is more about the people that I get to lead. It’s a really nice experience for me to get to work with other people, and I think that a lot of it comes from having an amazing officer team,” said Esha Saraswat, junior.

With all that these influential people have achieved, one may ask themselves the question of how exactly one is inspired to take on such a responsibility. For some people, this desire to impact others stems from important members in an individual’s life. 

“Definitely my parents. They’re my biggest role models. Everything that I have done in terms of leadership, I have gotten from them,” Saraswat said. 

Likewise, others receive this drive due to the leaders that they got to work with in clubs and events, in the past. 

“My freshman year, I joined student government. I was inspired by those [previous] leaders, and throughout my little journey through student government, and through swim, and just through life in general. Just getting to witness those leaders and take all their skills and then apply it to myself [was beneficial],” said Nathan Edlebeck, senior. “I really want to make a difference in the world and show love to everyone.”

For most leaders, their main goal is to help others in whatever way they can. While the impact may be big or small, even one person being positively affected makes a tremendous difference. 

“I hope to impact [my peers] by inspiring them to become a leader, whether it be their club, their sport, their job, no matter what it is. I want to inspire someone to do what they want to do, and step up and be a leader for themselves,” said Mackenzie Greene, senior. 

Overall, anyone can be a leader, and the first step on this journey is to recognize that it will require determination and self confidence in oneself. It is important to do whatever appeals to your interests, so that you can live life to the fullest and with no regrets. 

“I would say just to go for it. I say just try new things because even if you’re not entirely sure if you’re going to like it or not, try new things because you never know where it’s going to take you in life. It could lead to other opportunities,” Greene said.