What Art Has Done for Me

Growing up, I was always an extremely quiet kid, not because I didn’t have anything to say, but rather because I was afraid of saying the wrong thing. While this fear may seem irrational to some, it meant everything to me. In a lot of ways, this fear limited me from being the most genuine version of myself, and there are many things I held back from getting involved in over fear of judgment. As I’ve gotten older, I have noticed that I have always had some creative outlet in every phase of my life. These activities have helped me become a more genuine version of myself that has more goals, dreams, and passions.

In my middle school days, the only times I truly felt recognized were when I would draw. I can look back on that time and remember some of my most glorious days being in a group project setting where we had to draw something. Oftentimes my group members would be in distress because they didn’t draw, and that’s where I would come in. Being seen and recognized by people was something I didn’t feel often, and it felt great to be praised by my classmates for doing something positive. The way art made me feel was one that I immediately fell in love with, and being able to channel my emotions into tangible pieces of work was like therapy for me. 

 Drawing isn’t the only art form that I depended on. As most young girls do--I was really into journaling throughout my childhood. It’s funny looking back at the stacks of journals I’ve collected over the years and some of the trivial topics that I wrote about, knowing it definitely felt like the end of the world at the time. Although I can laugh now, I’m glad I used it as a way to cope with growing up. Being enrolled in dance classes in my childhood was also a great way to exercise my expression, and I am very thankful I had the opportunity to do so for 7 years. Performing in recitals and even choreographing my own pieces made me realize that I work well in a performance setting, and it even helped me transition into cheerleading my junior year of high school, a sport that I am so grateful to have in my life now. 

Specifically, in college, I have found it especially hard to keep up with my creativity. I feel that the environment can be a tricky one to be artistic in. It’s very easy to get caught up with work, extracurriculars, and other social activities, and although a college campus is filled with thousands of people, it is very easy to get in your own head and isolate yourself. When so many responsibilities are thrown at you at once, sometimes it’s easier to put your hobbies on the back burner. Although I am guilty of doing this, I am starting to realize that having creative outlets in college can be extremely beneficial. It is helpful when you want to get out of your own head and focus on something that is all your own.

My advice to anyone feeling like they have abandoned hobbies that they used to do in college would be, try your hardest to pick them up again! It can be difficult to find the time, but if you put in the extra effort, you may find that it can help you feel more grounded. Although my creative outlets have transitioned as I’ve gotten older, I always try to keep a few in my life. This summer I hope to use some of my free time to delve into other hobbies, specifically music related things, and while I have a lot to learn, learning something new can be a rewarding process if you’re willing to go for it. 

Whether it be drawing, journaling, or even creating content for Her Campus (my current favorite thing to do!) having an outlet can help you destress, connect with others, or even discover things you didn’t know you loved! Looking back on it, I am thankful that art has made me more comfortable in my own skin and more confident in the things that I can accomplish.