How It Changed Me
By Hufsa Lodhi
Shaking hands. Sweaty palms. Endless butterflies gnawing at your stomach. Defined as the typical feeling of nervousness, it has many causes. Whether it's a taking a big test or walking into a crowd for the first time, anxiety is subjective. Positive or negative, it can contribute a great deal to either push you towards or pull you from that very action that's sending shivers down your spine. Public speaking is one of the most common fears in the world. Although it takes a little warming up to, it really helps build confidence and independence. Forensics. A speech and debate organization that changed my life. From the competitions to the adrenaline of winning my first trophy, it brought out a better and bolder side of me that I never knew existed.
Once a meek and timid girl entering high school stumbles upon something intriguing and special. Something that captivated me and pushed me to the limits. When my best friend, Christina Larkins, explained to me that she was looking for a partner and I took that offer, I had no idea what I had signed up for. Alice in Zombieland. What a crazy idea! Never in my life would I have thought that I would be dragged into a fantasy world of zombies and crazy, flesh-eating queens. As my very first piece, I was so nervous that I would not live down my partner. She has been doing forensics since she was in middle school and there was no way that I could match her talent. She was a natural for sure.
Of course, I picked the easier part but that didn't mean it was going to have any mercy on my confidence. Needless to say I was terrified. I cared way too much about what others thought and letting myself go was the hardest part. All credit is given to my best friend. Everytime I would look at her with a panicked look and whisper for only her to hear “I can't do this.” She would give me an encouraging look and urge me on. She broke me out of my shell and that is something I will remember for the rest of my life.
It is highly suggested to conquer one's fears but it is also well known that this task is not as easy. Standing in my first round of my very first competition, I freaked out. Christina and I walked to the front and looked at each other. With a deep breath I got lost into the magical world of zombies and before I knew it we landed in first place for my tournament. I could not believe it! Our school had not placed in about six years and that eventful day, we came in third. The celebrating and cheering rang in my ears as a permanent incentive to achieve that and more.
The following competitions got harder and better teams knocked up down from the top. Once ranked in the state, we still have yet to place but there is an everlasting effect from this. Never will I ever think twice before trying something new knowing that I have people. She rebuilt a trust in me that I had lost faith in years ago. If there ever was a chance to thank her such an amazing experience, it would never be enough because there are few people in this world who bring out the best in you but when you meet them you never want to let them go because that sense of bliss is simply irreplaceable.
About the Author
Hufsa Lodhi is 16 and was born in Long Island, New York. She has a strong passion for animals, writing, reading, and poetry. Some of her favorite sports include soccer, ice skating, swimming, and football. She currently lives in a small city in North Carolina.
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