Hey y’all! In today’s edition of Love Out Loud, we’re going to talk about being a risk taker! And no, not that skydiving, bungee jumping, adrenaline-junkie type of risk, just the generally unpredictable kind of risk. First, let’s first define what a risk is. The Google definition of a risk is “a situation involving exposure to danger.” For me personally, I’ve never taken a risk that involves serious or physical danger, but I have taken risks that were a danger to my grades. Still, I usually chose to stay on the safe side in order to keep my grades high.
This is what I was like my first three years in high school, a diligent student wasting away in front of my desk. I only focused on grades and not falling behind in class. But this year—my last year in high school—I decided it was finally the year to have some fun. That basically meant going to all the sporting events, numerous dances, and school shows that I had missed out on in the years before, and just doing things that I would never have done earlier in high school.
Taking a chance is obviously something that takes you out of your comfort zone and asks you to be open to new things. Although change can make you feel a little anxious, I think that feeling is something that is inevitable, so why stray away from taking chances when you can turn that anxiousness into something that you can enjoy?
Take me, for example: I auditioned for my school’s talent show, not thinking much of it even though I really can not sing in front of others—my voice starts cracking and gets all shaky, it’s just all bad. And right when I started feeling like I really wanted to perform, I got a sore throat a couple days before the actual show. And because of that, I asked my friend to sub in for me. All my friends still encouraged me to sing in case I would regret it in the future. So I waited backstage during the performance and ran up on stage to sing the last 30 seconds with my friend. All I can remember is my pounding heart and my friend singing with me. Later, my friends showed me a video of the performance and I thought I sounded terrible, but I had a whole lot of fun anyway!
By auditioning and signing up for the talent show, I ran the risk of embarrassing myself in front of an audience. But singing on stage ended up becoming an experience that I really enjoyed, and even though I don’t think I sounded amazing, I didn’t feel an ounce of embarrassment. I was just scared because I still cared about what people thought of me, but of course, it was ultimately my choice to step up on that stage.
All you have to remember is that the only person you need validation from is yourself! Just take a risk and don’t be afraid of other people’s judgment. Wear those shoes that you’ve been dying to wear even if they don’t suit anyone else’s taste. Eat that dish that you’ve been dying to try even if you may not like it in the end. Go ahead and buy that outfit that you thought you could never pull off. Go take that challenging class even though your friends think it’s a boring class. Go confess your feelings to that friend you’ve liked for the past couple months! And yes, I know that it’s scary to confess your feelings but it’s better to let it out than to bottle it up. Even if the person isn’t into you too, at least you had to courage to tell that person! And even though you may not enjoy taking that risk in the moment, it’ll be worth it. In the end, you’ll discover new things about yourself and learn what you love and hate.
From my personal experience, I thought that taking chances like these were too scary, and so I just played it safe in order to “fit in,” but I knew there was room for me elsewhere. I was tired of being scared of showing who I really was. I was tired of sticking with the crowd. I was tired of being told what to do, because it really didn’t reflect who I actually was. In fact, wasn’t even sure who I was—I stuck to the crowd so much that I began to only act exactly like my friends in order to “be cool.” But the coolest thing you can do, in my opinion, is to be your 100% true self.
The biggest piece of advice I received about taking risks and enjoying my time in high school came from my uncle. He would always (and I really mean always) tell me to do as much as I can and to enjoy myself while I can, because I only go to high school once and I’ll miss everything once I graduate. And even though studies are important, so is having fun and making new memories. So from all that, I’ve come up with this quote:
“Never be afraid to step out of your boundaries and just take a chance. You might find yourself enjoying something you never knew you’d like!”
And remember, you miss 100% of the chances you don’t take! Till next time!