Reflecting on Highschool Involvement as a College Student: What I Would Have Done Differently

When I was in high school, I didn’t have much of a drive to be involved with my school or the surrounding community. Truthfully, when I look back at my time, I always stayed on the safe side, never taking risks or putting myself out there. Now that I’m in college, I made the decision that I wanted to do more so that I was more involved and felt like I am actively making a difference in the community around me during my four years here at the University of Maine. 

As I look back to both my sophomore and junior years of high school, I was in two of the school musicals as an ensemble member. Senior year came, and I wanted to audition for a role in the musical, Cinderella. I was so determined for a while, and then I backed out because, despite the fact that my heart wanted to do it, my mind was telling me it wasn’t good for me. One reason was that I had an extreme amount of stage fright, even when being in the ensemble, it didn’t matter if I was the lead role or part of the cast in the background, I would get so tense that I would develop painful foot cramps. Along with that, I was absolutely terrified of taking risks for fear of being rejected, so I just refused to be in the musical altogether. This didn’t just apply to these musicals, this happened on a lot of different occasions.

Throughout middle school and high school, I participated in concert band.  Every year, there would be auditions to be involved in the District and All-state band and in the seventh grade, I decided to audition for the district band festival, not thinking much of it. I was accepted, and I was very excited about it. I planned on auditioning for my eighth-grade year, but I choked up and decided against it, terrified that I would get rejected that year. I was putting a lot of pressure on myself to be the best, which lead to me never taking risks for fear of letting myself down in the face of rejection. Seeing all of the people who got accepted enjoying themselves made me happy for them, but I also felt like I was missing out every year because that very well could have been me. This mindset applied itself to opportunities and extracurriculars outside of high school as well and honestly, the only reason I had my hotel job was because my mother worked there for ten years, so I knew everyone who worked there. I was basically handed my first (and only) job and although I am a very hard worker, I wasn’t giving myself enough of a chance to apply my work ethic anywhere else because change made me nervous. 

Since coming to college, I have become more committed to activities and I have slowly begun to put myself out there in different organizations, my classes and the surrounding community here on campus. I have joined pep band, food science club, and I’m even on the executive board for Her Campus and additionally, I am also planning on being involved with the Campus Activities Board next year. 

The difference between now and high school is that I have developed more independence in college, and it has allowed me to take more chances and try new things based on what I am interested in. I knew that I liked music, writing, and food, so I found clubs that could accommodate those interests and in that, I have found new friends, chances at leadership and more involvement! I have also considered switching my major to marketing so I can cultivate the knowledge I would need to create a wedding planning business and in addition to that decision, I have been doing extensive research to find an internship or job related to this field to gain experience this coming summer. 

I have been learning that in order to live a fulfilling life, you have to do what makes you happy. Of course, you as a reader have probably heard that WAY too many times to count, but it is important to keep repeating. Taking risks and trying new things is a healthy part of life, and I have many regrets about not taking those risks in high school and I hope that by writing this, I am putting all of those regrets in my past and celebrating the future and what’s to come