Every year our school puts on three theatrical productions, and this weekend will be the annual fall play, which means that this previous week has been extremely busy for anyone involved. Two years ago, I never would have thought I’d be one of those people.
Before high school, I didn’t even realize how much I enjoy theatre. Being on stage had excited me, but I had always felt too scared to audition for anything. I was never that kid who was born with an incredible voice or just a natural gift for acting or incredible stage presence. (side note: Elizabeth is/was. She can sing and act so well! She’s in the play and is terrific!) But last year (when I was a freshman), I was continuously told that this was my year to experiment and to try new things. They said freshmen year was a chance to discover your interests, so I tried to keep my mind open to anything that excited me. Something that quickly stood out to me was theatre, and since last year I have been involved in just about everything theater-related you could be without going on stage. I’ve done technical theatre, stage crew, costumes, make-up, choreography, and I’m trying to learn lights. Through all of this experimentation, I’ve discovered a love for doing costumes and make-up and how much I enjoy being a part of a production. By trying out these different things, I found a place where I feel I fit in and I enjoy being. I’ve gotten to go to thrift stores searching for costumes, and I’m learning how to sew! Not only had I discovered this awesome aspect of school (I had previously not known existed), but I’ve gotten so much closer with people in other grades, who I had hardly talked to otherwise. I’ve discovered it’s pretty easy to become really good friends with random people when you have to sit them down and put make-up and foundation on them—especially for some of the guys who were passionately opposed to make-up. Because of this, I am now a part of this theater community at my school and am able to contribute to this art form, which I love.
This post isn’t to encourage all of you to go run and sign up for backstage at your school’s next production, but I wanted to emphasize the importance of following your interests. Who knows? You may discover something new about yourself or maybe a talent you didn’t know you had. All it takes is a little curiosity and courage. I do, however, think it’s just as important to follow your interests no matter which grade you are in. I know in high school that it can be hard not to feel the urge to fill your schedule with tons of things that you feel will impress colleges, but I urge everyone to follow their own passions because the work will be much more enjoyable and rewarding. Even if your freshman and/or sophomore year has passed—no, even if high school and/or college has passed—I think it’s ALWAYS important to listen to your passions in life. Yes, I definitely recommend using high school to start this discovery process, but anytime is right! When you do something you enjoy, the work will be better, and it won’t feel like work; you’ll enjoy it! So why not try to make your life more enjoyable? Go out, take some risks, and trust yourself. That’s what high school is for.