To be involved or not to be involved?

Find out what Corrie Mullins has to say about getting involved.

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At the beginning of high school, every kid is told over and over again to get involved. Join extracurriculars! It’s a great way to make friends! It’s the best part of high school!

It feels quite tired, the idea that these clubs and teams could completely change a high school experience.

Four years ago when I decided to attend Hoban, I didn’t know much of anything about high school, but I was sure of two things: I was going to participate in high school theatre, and I was not going to be involved in anything else.

I’d done theatre in grade school—if a bunch of eighth graders sloppily singing on risers pushed together to make a stage can be considered theatre—and I was good at it.

I’d also played basketball, volleyball and softball; I was student council President and regularly participated in oratory competitions and bible bowls at the Lutheran Schools’ academic challenge.

But, 14-year-old me had convinced myself that I wasn’t at all good enough at those activities to continue them into the more competitive high school arena. I was good at theatre, I’d do theatre.

I was cut from the fall play my freshman year. It was devastating and, more importantly, I was now completely void of extracurriculars.

I resigned myself to just concentrate on my academics and wait it out till winter one-acts, but my friend dragged me to a meeting for the Poetry Out Loud (POL) competition. I fell back on my history in oratory competitions and my friend and I joined the club.

I attended two POL competitions. When winter one-acts came around, I made the cut. The spring musical came with the same results. I was back in my comfort zone: theatre.

Sophomore and junior years followed a similar path. I added mock trial to my extracurriculars but only because all of my theatre friends did it. Being a witness was, in my mind, basically just putting on a small play. I was still well within my comfort zone.

To an outsider, it might seem like my first three years of high school had a perfectly reasonable amount of extracurriculars. For me, though, I know that I found a niche and stayed in it. I found a place where I felt comfortable and spent three years there.

It wasn’t until senior year that I began to venture into the realm of the unknown surrounding my after-school activities. I’m student body president and a member of the girls’ bowling team.

I absolutely love being a part of both of these. My only regret is that I waited until my senior year to join them.

That advice that we all heard about becoming involved is true, if a bit trite. High school is a time of growth and adaptation; we start the journey as children and end it as adults.

With that literal growth, also come changes in interests. So yes, absolutely get involved, but don’t forget to try things outside of your comfort zone, you never know what hidden talents you might stumble upon.