Growing up, I felt that there were not many places where I fit in. I wasn’t any good at sports, I was averagely smart, but not a genius, and I definitely wasn’t a pretty, “popular girl” either. Sometimes, I felt like I didn’t really belong anywhere.

Until, I started singing in the choir.

I sang pretty much my whole life, but it wasn’t until fifth grade that it was really considered “choir” at school. This was when my grade broke off into band, orchestra and choir. I, of course, chose choir and haven’t looked back since.

Ever since I walked into my middle school choir room, there is not a single room where I feel more comfortable or accepted for who I am. I was always thought of as the “quiet girl” in school, but not in the choir room. Everyone knows me there, and I can be as crazy, outgoing and maybe even borderline annoying as I want to be when I’m in the choir room.

In high school I was anxious walking down the halls. I could be having the worst day in the history of the world, but as soon as I walked in the choir room, all of my problems seemed to melt away. I talked, laughed and sang with my friends and forgot what was even wrong. And somehow, I would be insanely nervous giving a presentation in class, but totally comfortable belting out a solo amongst all of my friends because I knew no matter what happened no one would judge me in the choir room.

My freshman year of college was a rocky one, to say the least. I hated where I was, three and a half hours from home, amongst people who were nothing like me. I found absolutely nowhere at my school to fit in… except the choir room. I made friends in there and going to rehearsal was the one thing that kept me going until I transferred schools. I now live in the choir room at my new school. It is home to some of my new favorite people.

I have laughed, cried and sang many songs in many different choir rooms. They have all shaped me into the person I am today. I don’t think middle school, or even 20-year-old me would have any place to belong if it wasn’t for them. They are home to some of my favorite memories and my forever friends.

So to all of my directors, supporters and fellow singers, thank you. I know it sounds corny, but I am so blessed to know you. I am so blessed to have somewhere I’ll always fit in.

I am so grateful for my time spent singing, and I don’t care to think about where I’d be without the choir room.