Sheldon Thomas’s ability for trying new things has given him a sense of community in his life


Sheldon Thomas

Freshman Sheldon Thomas posing for a picture in the snow

Developing a love for a school activity from watching a television show isn’t something you would hear about often, but for freshman Sheldon Thomas, it’s a pursuit he would call fate. 

Entering his first year of high school, Sheldon has already settled into a routine of activity after activity. He’s currently in Model United Nations, or Model UN, a first-time experience he’s already grown to love. Although this year isn’t what Sheldon expected it to be, he wouldn’t regret the memories and friendships that have developed. 

Model UN is an academic activity that focuses on real-world problems from the perspective of the country’s delegate. This can stimulate communication skills along with problem-solving. For Sheldon, he started his passion for Model UN by watching the show Never Have I Ever.

“I watched [Never Have I Ever] on Netflix,” Sheldon explained. “They did a Model UN conference and went [out of state] and got to stay the night at a hotel, and I just thought it looked really fun and decided to try it.”

Sheldon considers himself pretty socially outgoing, but with Model UN, his skills are ever-growing. Though it’s only been a semester since he’s started, he’s already made new bonds and friendships.

Taking part in Model UN requires the ability to work in a team and fast-paced comfortability in new environments. This year, the meetings and competitions have been over the popular communication platform of Zoom where moderators place each committee into breakout rooms. Through this, each person in the group has time to discuss and resolve conflicts.

“Since I’m a freshman, I don’t know a lot of the high schoolers,” Sheldon said. “[Model UN helps] my social skills and social interactions.” 

Through his time at Model UN, he finds balancing meetings and participating in sports all while maintaining his grades in school a struggle. From his fall season, he would join calls while he was getting ready for football practice. While his time management has improved, he still knows he has to find a steady system of sports, clubs, friends, and free time.

“Whenever I have free time [I] just try to get work done,” Sheldon said. “I know I’m probably not going to be able to do everything and I’ll have to be flexible to [get to everything] I want.” 

Sheldon tries to find time to hang out with his friends but has found it restricting due to COVID-19. Regardless of the virus, he would still need to make room in his planner for free time amongst his busy schedule. 

One thing most people can relate to during the past year is the exploration and beginning of new activities. Sheldon’s newfound passion for football can validate that notion. 

With this school year being his first time playing football, he considers it to be one of the greatest sports he has participated in. His profound love for football might just be kickstarting, but Sheldon considers it a sport he could play for the rest of his high school career. He owes it to track for aiding the development of his running capability as he notices his form has improved greatly since he started. Though he wasn’t sure about continuing playing football at the beginning of his season, he can now proudly say that his love for football has only grown. 

“I decided to pick up a new sport this year,” Sheldon said. “A lot of my friends played football, and I fell in love with it.”

The idea of trying something new isn’t something that Sheldon shies away from. Although the year hasn’t been easy, he has found a way to make the most of it by becoming more engaged in clubs and activities. 

“I don’t think I’d be doing half the things I would be doing without COVID-19,” said Sheldon. “I wouldn’t change anything, and I enjoy a lot of the things I do now.” 

While he still is developing his own patterns, he strongly recommends enrollment to anybody questioning whether or not they should be a part of a certain club.

“If you’re looking for something to do, just try it,” Sheldon said. “You’ll never know if you like something, whether it’s a sport or club, [just] try because you won’t know what you’ll like until you try it.”