Even before my freshman year, I knew I wanted something more than just regular high school. The idea of maneuvering through a crowded cafeteria or having to tolerate the peers I’ve known for over a decade was just never appealing to me. I’ve known what I wanted to do with my life since I was three years old. Singing has been everything to me, and I felt that at my home school, pursuing that career wasn’t a reality.
I now go to two schools—a school in my hometown for academics and a performing arts school located in my state capital. Other than spending hours on buses and learning to fall asleep to anything, my experience was nothing like I expected.
When I walked in on the first day, my standards were set a little high—the only thing I had pictured art school being like was an episode of Victorious or a High School Musical movie. Then again, I wasn’t too far off.
When I first started attending freshman year, I was beyond terrified of nearly everything. I was terribly shy and closed off, and as a result I didn’t have many friends. I was 14, suddenly in a new school with all new people, and I had severe anxiety at the time. The students I was immersed with were all immensely talented, beautiful and yes, extremely gay. It was perfect for me. Art school helped me become loud, passionate, and helped me discover exactly who I was, a queer artist looking to change the world.
The entire community was so accepting of everyone, regardless of gender, sexuality, race or anything in between. There were hundreds of personalities and everyone was so different, yet we all had one thing in common: we loved the arts.
Everyday I think about how fortunate I am to have such a great support system and the opportunity to explore my future career at such a young age. I know that going into college I’ll be prepared for my major and have real-life experience in my field.
Without this school I would still be the shy girl who couldn’t accept a compliment or even a hug. I was so closed off before and so afraid of what the world would think of me. But when you’re at art school, no one cares if you wear pajamas or have messy hair. The only thing that matters is what you create.
I know that taking risks are terrifying and you may think that you’ll fail, but you never know unless you try. Art school changed my life and if you just take a leap of faith, it could change yours too.