Laker Notes: Getting out of my comfort zone
Some of the best advice I ever received (although I didn't see its value at the time) came from a granola bar wrapper. It read, "Great things never came from comfort zones." I attribute some of the greatest happiness of my senior year to that granola bar wrapper.
Without knowing what a "We the People" team was, I found myself sitting in a classroom of nerds (which I say lovingly) last September discussing the Constitution. Unbeknown to me, I had signed up to be a part of a team that sits for hours at a time debating various contemporary social issues through a Constitutional lens.
I thought about quitting; I didn't have the time, the motivation or the energy. And yet, it was worth it. Every day I learned more and more about our country and our world, until our knowledge carried us through regionals to the state competition. We may not have taken first in state, but we had a blast.
Later that fall when one of my friends asked me if I'd like to join a city-league basketball team, I thought she must have been joking. I've never been athletically inclined. I must have hit myself in the head with a basketball a dozen times in freshman P.E. Regardless, I heard myself telling her yes.
A few weeks later I shrugged on my jersey and pulled back my hair and made a complete fool of myself at the game. We lost. Brutally. And I had so much fun. After every game I came home from, most of which we lost, I couldn't stop myself from smiling as I gave my parents the play by play. Throughout the whole season, I didn't make a single basket. Honestly, I hadn't expected to. But what I lacked in points I still gained in personal achievement.
When first semester turned into second, I needed to select a class to replace Constitutional Law in my schedule. Almost on a whim, I found myself in the ceramics room, a classroom I hadn't ventured into in my four years at LOHS.
I'd never taken an art class and truthfully had no idea what I was doing. My first day at the potter's wheel, I watched in horror as wet, sticky clay climbed its way up my arms and to my elbows. And then, I watched in amazement as my misshapen lump of soggy dirt slowly took shape. When I pulled my first bowl out of the kiln, I felt a sense of accomplishment. I had made that beautiful bowl. It may not have been perfectly centered with an even rim, but what I lacked in perfection I made up for in personal gratification.
I always thought that my place was in the classroom. It was where I had always thrived and achieved the classic definition of "success." I certainly didn't walk into my senior year of high school expecting to find myself in any of these new places, and when I did I resisted — I had never been there before, so why now?
But once I let myself sink into each those experiences, I found a love for each of them that makes me smile every time I think about them. Without a doubt, they will be some of the things I will remember most fondly when I look back on my high school experience. When I started my senior year, I was a solid person, but now I feel like a more complete person. By allowing all areas of my life to blossom, I gained so much.
There are endless opportunities in each of our lives to take risks, risks that could bring us so much joy. I will surely continue to push myself throughout my life to take those chances, just as I have in my last year of school.