Lose Like A Winner

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Claire Fogarty

For every winner of an election there’s at least one loser. Claire Fogarty has been on the short end of the vote many times in her high school career but she’s determined to lose like winner.

Poster boards, blue painter’s tape, and smelly markers, all mean one thing to me: class campaign season.

My first foray into campaigning began the second week of my freshman year when I decided that an excellent way to kick off my high school career would be to run for class president. It was September 2016, so I had Hillary Clinton’s campaign to inspire me. My big sister Annie helped me plaster our school with posters that read: “If you care, vote for Claire!”

I thought I had it in the bag, but I could not have been more wrong. By the end of the week, it was clear I was going to lose. My hopes shattered into thousands of pieces. The other candidate’s savvy pop culture slogans screamed in my face as I walked down the hall. But I forced myself to breathe in, breathe out, and just put on a smile.

After the vote, the candidates gathered to hear the results. When they announced the winner there was a battle in my tear ducts and my heart sank to my feet and stayed there dragging around on the ground for the next few days. Part of me wished I had never run.


I am now a junior and I have lost the semesterly race for class president four more times. A lot of people ask why I continue to run if I know I am going to lose? The answer is that running for president has become less about winning and more an exercise in putting myself out there. I am not going to claim a solid Teflon personality that feels no pain, because truthfully sometimes the embarrassment of losing gets to me. But I’m proud that I have risked what the other 99.6 percent of the students at my school have not. Persistence has become my super power. A lot of the teen population is drowning in apathy, but I refuse to be one of them.

There is only one election left in my high school career, and all I know is that my name will again be on the ballot. Losing like a loser is easy. Losing like a winner means keeping my chin held high, and being optimistic that the next time might be my time.

With a Perspective, I’m Claire Fogarty.

Claire Fogarty is a Marin County resident, food blogger, and avid member of her leadership class