When is the last time you did something for the first time? Now please reread that question and mull it over for a few minutes before you come to a hasty, unsatisfactory answer.
The sad truth is that many of us (myself included until recently) go through the days, weeks, months and years without ever challenging ourselves by stepping outside our self-made boundaries. This can be quite unfortunate as the world is full of new and exciting experiences just waiting to be embraced.
To be quite honest, I have played the same sports, enrolled in the same extracurricular activities, enjoyed the company of the same wonderful people and taken part in the same clubs since the beginning of my enrolment at École secondaire Neelin High School in 2011.
I have never regretted anything I chose to do, but I do regret the things I decided not to do, thus resulting in this article.
It was a dreary Wednesday night in late November and I had nothing to do. My friend Darcy mentioned to me that he was attending auditions for Neelin’s major production, "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels."
Deciding I’d tag along for want of something to do, I, too, auditioned. To my astonishment, I was called back for a second audition and then a third and surprisingly, a fourth and so on until I eventually found myself caught up in the middle of something larger than life. Just over a week ago today, my major production debut came to an end and I can honestly say that my half-hearted decision all those months ago turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life.
If someone had told me a year ago that I would be in a play, performing before hundreds of people, I would have scoffed in their face.
However, I see now that having those mental walls built up around "what I do and what I don’t do" is all a huge mistake. Being able to step outside my comfort zone has opened my eyes to so many things. Life is nothing but a compilation of experiences and the more the better. You never know what you like until you try it all. There is not one set path for any one individual, and one small act may forever change your future.
Trying new things is a confidence booster. By constantly pushing your limits and forcing yourself to do it all, you become accustomed to finding yourself in unfamiliar territory.
To do something new, one needs to overcome the initial fear, and defying the basic human nature to be habitual makes it a courage builder. Furthermore, it is probably the best boredom killer as you’ve never had the experience before and regardless of whether you liked it, you spent the time learning more about yourself in an extremely unique way.
Despite the amount of cheesy clichés you may find in this article, I truly believe that there really isn’t anything to lose when trying something new. Having experienced firsthand how wonderful it can turn out to be, I will continue to try new things over and over again, and I simply can’t wait for what life holds next.
» Mahesh Shunmugam is a Grade 11 student at École secondaire Neelin High School.