This I Believe

Alysia - Jupiter, Florida
Entered on July 8, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

I believe that success comes from the belief in oneself.

It was my sophomore year in high school when I got the news. It might not seem like a big deal, but I was terrified. The band director had just given me a major solo in the halftime show. My first solo.

“What if I messed up?! It’s going to be all my fault!” My fellow band mates looked at me, envying me. Now, the job was to go learn the music.

That night, I went home and tried out this solo. I tried so hard to play it, but my problem was that I did not believe that I could do it. I practiced for about an hour and went to bed, hoping that I would do better tomorrow.

So, I showed up the next day, tired, my lips exhausted. About half way through music rehearsal, the director asks me to play my solo. I was nervous and everyone heard it through the shaking in my playing. I felt like everyone was laughing at me. Then, a junior was asked to play. This turned into a competition for the position, taking turns, and the director chose me for the spot in the end.

Eventually, I learned to play that solo. Football season was starting soon. That meant that I had to play in front of hundreds of people. It was hard when people would ask, “Are you nervous for Friday?”

It was Friday night. I had my courage, my instrument, and it was almost half time of the first football game of my sophomore year. I was off to the side, practicing my solo one last time before the show started. The director came up to me and said, “You can do it, Good luck out there.” “Thank you.” I said and resumed my practicing. I felt like throwing up. But, after practicing those couple of times, I thought to myself, “Wow, I think I could really do this.”

We all started marching onto the field. My stomach dropped. The show was going well. I walked to my spot on the field for my solo and waited for the drum major, also a good friend, to count me off. That moment felt like an eternity. He gave me an “Are you ready?” look, took a deep breath, and put his arm up. There I went, I started at a low volume and soared through it like it was nothing. I was so happy!

I did it! Everyone was coming up to me and telling me that I had done well. Then, I saw that drum major. Smiling from ear to ear, he ran up to me and gave me a huge hug. I broke down in tears of joy. It was such a great feeling. I just had to believe in myself. The band director was right about me. That show was the best memory of my four years of high school, along with several other solos.