This I Believe

Chelsea - Duluth, Minnesota
Entered on September 8, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

I am constantly learning. Most importantly I learn from the mistakes I make in my life. I’ve only had 18 years to make mistakes and I have made millions, some big and some small, and I am proud of each of them. I believe that you should never regret anything you do, only grow from each opportunity in your life.

I was never active in school activities until 9th grade. Our school was putting on “Footloose” and I knew how much fun my sister had in school musicals so I decided to give it a shot. I was so nervous at the audition but not as nervous as walking up to the cast list the next week. My heart sank when I didn’t see my name on the list, but being the self-determined child that I was; I put on a face and pretended not to care about the results of the audition. I remember so well telling everyone “it’s just the normal group of people that the director always casts. It’s so stupid.” After putting on a front for a few days I received a message to go visit the director after school one day. I had no idea what he was going to say. Did he want to apologize for not letting me in? Had he heard what I was saying? Walking down the hallway to go see him was the most petrifying experience I had in all of high school. When I finally did get to Mr. Janke, the most feared teacher in school and the director of the play, he looked at me impassively. I told him that I had received a message to see him and his face lit up. He informed me that he had someone who dropped out of the musical and asked me if I was interested in taking their place. I was ecstatic! My mood changed drastically and I soon became obsessed with the show. I only had a small chorus role but it was the highlight of my year.

Four years time took me through five more shows, 2 years of choir, and 3 years of Speech participation all under the direction of Mr. Janke. I landed a few principle roles in plays, was a respected member of the top choir, and earned 8th place at State Speech in Dramatic Duo. And even more importantly I gained a wonderful mentor as well as 8 friends that mean the world to me. Without my incident in 9th grade I would not have met those friends and I know my life would be very different. When I reflect back on all of the amazing things I’ve gained in the past few years I remember myself declaring how pointless one show was and how certain I was on never going through that experience again. Do I regret it? Not one bit! It made me appreciate my achievements even more.