By Lauren Galley
Our teenage years are ones of discovery, curiosity, and truly finding one’s self. This is your opportunity to try something new, fail, pick yourself back up, and try something else! When I was in middle school and early high school, I was extremely envious of the sporty, athletic girls. I have never been good at sports, but it seemed as though that is what I needed to do in order to fit in. I allowed my lack of sports skills to lower my self-esteem. I thought, “Well, if I’m not good at any sports, then I must not be good at anything…” That is, until I discovered the theatre program! I joined my sophomore year of high school, and it was honestly one of the best decisions I ever made. Not only did I meet some amazing friends, but I finally found something I was good at, and truly enjoyed. I even tried all aspects of the program. I was on stage, behind the light board, moving sets…. I had a ball! The arts are often overlooked by students in school, because people just don’t show up for the musical like they do for the football games. (Although they should!)
Try new things. Maybe theatre isn’t for you! Have you ever thought about joining choir? Or band? Or the art club? There is an infinite amount of possibilities just waiting for you, so I encourage you to take advantage of them. Even if you go to a couple of club meetings and decide it’s not your thing, you will have met new people, and learned something about yourself. As teenagers, we are at the perfect age to experiment with our interests and our passions. It’s totally okay and normal if you don’t know what you want to do for the rest of your life at the age of 16! However, sitting on your couch and watching Netflix isn’t going to broaden your horizons.
Learn to accept failure. This is something that has taken me a while to master, and I still have issues with it at times. If you are a perfectionist like me, then you totally understand the feeling of failing at one tiny aspect of your life, and then thinking that you are never going amount to anything! This is the farthest thing from true. You need to alter your self-talk into a positive mantra. You will succeed at many, many things in life. But you will also fail at many, many things as well. Everyone has different strengths, and that is what makes the world go around! I feel that everyone should delve into the world of art in some aspect. Theatre taught me a lot about who I am, and then when I discovered that I enjoyed writing, I realized that I could spread my positive message of confidence on a much larger scale.
Art is universal. The really cool and fascinating thing about art is that you could speak a completely different language than someone else, but draw them a picture, or show them a photograph that tells a story. It is honestly mind-blowing to consider the means of communication that art has provided us for centuries. You can play a song and it will touch everyone in the world, in a different way. The idea of creating something that causes someone else happiness is truly amazing. Take advantage of that opportunity, and create something! Pick up a pen, a guitar, or a camera and get to work.
Art is a way to express yourself. Oftentimes, if I am feeling sad or upset, I write and it makes me feel better. Or I listen to my favorite song, or watch the Notebook on repeat. These are all forms of art in some way. Art is a great way to express your emotions in a healthy, and safe way. Some of the most amazing pieces of artwork and music were created out of sadness or pain. Turn your negative emotions into positive ones! Who knows? Maybe that sketch you’re scribbling in your room will be hanging on a museum wall someday. You dreams are never too big for reality!
If you have tried art time and time again, and it’s just not your thing, then that’s okay! I can’t draw or paint very well, but I absolutely love going to museums and looking at other people’s masterpieces. It really puts things into perspective, and I think you can tell a lot about a person by what their paintbrush creates. So go to your local museum, and admire the art surrounding you. It may open your eyes to the fact that art is around us almost all the time. You just have to look in the right places!