Finding my Voice
As a kid, I was always the one who would sit in the back of the group as our teacher read to us. I was the kid who was shy, and wasn’t hyper like the rest of my class. I had friends, but just a small group of them was the comfortable amount for me. Back in kindergarten, my teacher used to award a giant sticker to who she felt was either the kindest or most helpful student of the week. Everyone wanted one of those stickers, because it meant that you had accomplished being a good student. One week I finally was awarded one of those stickers and I was overjoyed. However, my “best friend” was not always the nicest girl, and she demanded that I give my sticker to her. I was intimidated by her so I hesitantly gave my sticker over to her. Although it seems insignificant as it was just a sticker, it meant a lot to me, and I gave it away with tears in my eyes. I lost my voice. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten increasingly more confident thanks to my experience doing theatre. It has given me so much confidence as a person, speaking in front of people, and knowing that I have found the path that is perfect for me. Although I still may be quiet in class, I know that I now have the ability to stand up for myself and others. A time that I knew I had found my voice was on the bus ride back from when all the eighth graders went to Cedar Point. I had been sitting with my friends, having fun laughing with each other and taking pictures. Then I heard a loud commotion from the back of the bus, where all the guys were sitting, and they were laughing hysterically. I saw a girl come running from the group and she sat plopped down into the seat behind mine. She was crying, and I realized that the guys had been laughing at her. I felt this overwhelming feeling come over me that it was me who needed to help her. I stood up from my friends, and they looked confused, but I instead sat next to the girl. I talked to her and she told me something embarrassing had happened to her in front of her crush, who was sitting in the back of the bus. I calmed her down and helped her stop crying. We talked for the entire rest of the bus ride and I told her about embarrassing things that had happened to me and it made her laugh. The joy I got from helping her was uncomparable, and it was in that moment that I knew I had found my voice. Although my friends didn’t want me to sit with her, I could feel it in my heart that I needed to and wanted to. Since then, my voice has gotten even more strong, and whenever I’m in a situation that I feel I need to speak up; I do. I’m proud of the voice I’ve grown into and the person I’ve become.