The importance of participation


My schedule today looked like thisa��

9-10 a.m. — Wake up and get dressed for the day.

10-11:30 a.m. — Breakfast at Panera with an old friend.

11:30-3 p.m. — Chill.

3-4 p.m. — The Central Trend Homecoming parade float building.

4-5:30 p.m. — Lip Sync practice.

5:30-7:33 p.m. — Sophomore class Homecoming parade float building.

7:33-9 p.m. — Improv Central performance.

A year ago, my day would have been half as long. I wouldn’t have ever even considered the idea of helping with float building, and I would never have been caught dead participating in the class lip sync.

As I look back now on who I was last year, I can see my narrow-minded thinking was simply the fear of putting myself out there and taking a risk by participating in school events.

So what changed? How did I go from the frightened girl I was last year to someone who goes to two different float buildings in one day? I made it where I am today, not by stepping out of the narrow-minded “box” I was in, but by inching out of it very, very slowly. By going to a few more football games and talking to a few more people I didn’t know, eventually- through the connections I was making by slowly putting myself out there- I ended up becoming increasingly more comfortable in my own skin, and therefore, more comfortable around other people.

With this week being spirit week, I am reminded of last year’s spirit week. I participated– kind of. I wore the bare minimum of spirit wear, too scared to go all out for spirit days and embrace the individuality that spirit week promotes. This year, however, I am beginning to understand the importance of participation and being a part of this school that will always be a part of me.

Taking chances and participating in school events was terribly tough for me. But I don’t regret pushing myself to say yes to things that I would have previously said no to. Learning to take those chances has led me to some rather sensational things. Taking a chance by writing for The Central Trend has helped build and cultivate connections with people not only in my own grade but in other grades too, expanding my world to include people of all grades.

And bit by bit, my little world has grown bigger. Slowly but surely, one person at a time, I have inched out of the box I placed myself in last year. And for the next two years, I hope to continue making my way farther and farther from that closed minded outlook of the world.

If there is one thing that I am pleased to be learning in high school it is this: putting yourself out there is the most terrifying yet rewarding thing you can do. Sometimes it’s uncomfortable and nervewracking, but you will always be proud that you took that step a little farther out of your box.