An Arts Education Changed My Life And Saved Me

Everyone has their "thing" or something that they are good at. For me, as I grew older I became more immersed in the arts than ever before. When I was a kid I played basketball and softball but eventually just grew out of it and could not love it anymore.

So, in eighth grade, I decided to audition for the school's one-act play, a competition that is a part of the University Interscholastic League (UIL). I ended up with the lead role and spending just about the entire 40 minutes on stage. Even though at the end of the season we did not win, I realized my true passion and found something that really made me feel alive. Come freshman year of high school, I participated in the fall production and then again, one-act play season came around. That year, my school advanced for the first time in over thirty years. It felt amazing to be somewhere and be a part of something where I was wanted and needed.

Throughout my sophomore year, my anxiety began to interfere with my life and had also begun to take over, but whenever I came in to theatre rehearsal, I became a whole new person and whatever I was facing in reality, washed away. There was something about taking on a characters' persona that made me feel real, made me feel alive. The fact that I was fortunate enough to have this experience is why I believe that everyone should have access to some form of an arts education. Whether it's just one class or three, major or minor, everyone should at least have the option. For if it weren't for theatre, I don't know where I would be today.

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