The Benefits of an Open Minded Approach

Nobody has a clear vision of everything they want to achieve during high school. Most of us come into high school with an rough idea, a guess at what we can accomplish, and we leave with different interests and as a different person overall. From freshman to senior year, we meet new people, engage in new perspectives, and have new experiences. Making the transition to high school, I often limited myself to only pursuing activities that seemed comfortable to me, something I was familiar with or had some sort of prior experience. I made a line, pushing new ideas to the other side while keeping my prior experiences with me on my side. Still, getting involved in a plethora of various clubs is key to discovering what impact we want to leave on our high school. In high school, there are high reward, low risk opportunities we have to try new things and open ourselves up to new perspectives. By trying a new club or a new sport there is a chance to identify a new passion. A passion that might’ve been initially hidden. 

At freshman orientation, I was forced into signing up for cross country by a friend. I initially saw this as a burden. Running 3.1 miles every race seemed too challenging compared to the shorter track races in middle school. During the summer practices, I started to tell myself that there was no way I would stick around for the season. Little did I know that this decision would completely change my high school experience. Cross country allowed me to improve myself athletically, and I was also able to form bonds with teammates over my whole high school tenure. This gave me a breath of fresh air in between the busy school schedule of  challenging courses and turning in assignments. During my senior year, I was also able to serve as captain of the team while qualifying for the state finals and earning academic all-state.

Joining the journalism class, I again initially limited myself to what I could and couldn’t accomplish. My self-efficacy was low, Participating in the school newspaper opened many doors for me to demonstrate leadership, and was a big factor in my acceptance to the University of Michigan as well as my acquisition of scholarships. I had a personal interest in joining journalism, but I didn’t think it would initially lead to the impact it ended up having on me. Through journalism, I was able to pick up very important leadership skills being editor-in-chief while also earning multiple state-wide awards for journalism. 

These leadership qualities that I was able to pick up during my four years of high school eventually led me to accomplishing my childhood dream of being accepted into the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. If I had stayed content with not putting myself out there, I wouldn’t have had the experiences . Even looking back, there’s so much more I would’ve done differently had I got the chance to go back to freshman year, such as producing music, photography, and more community service. Still, the past is behind us and the future is open to . Don’t sit back and watch wonder what could’ve been. Face that new fear, conquer that challenge you’ve been avoiding, start that new hobby that you’ve always been interested in.