This is What I Live For by Claire W.

This is What I Live For
by Claire W.

High school presents formidable challenges. Looming deadlines, important exams, and social changes as students seek to gain greater self-awareness represent just a few of the many stressors a high school student might face. Thus, rest and recuperation are incredibly important. Hobbies and school sports and extracurricular activities can serve as an outlet for students to release stress, providing a form of rest and perhaps even a new learning experience outside the classroom.

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Running, for example, remains both one of my favorite activities and stress-relievers throughout the school year and a pastime during the summer. Joining my school’s cross country team not only introduced me to driven and hardworking peers I would not have encountered otherwise, but also offered a channel for me to escape the day. This school year, I learned that running truly lifts my spirits. Yes, I run against myself to broach my boundaries; I run against assignments to clear my head; I run against the clock to achieve my goals and set new ones. But most importantly, I run to make myself happy. I cannot accurately describe the feeling of collapsing over a finish line after a hard run, wind whipping my hair, tired and sweaty and satisfied after surviving training with teammates. I can’t describe it, but I know this: I live for it.

Challenging myself to create also offers me a form of rest—time to remember that I can enjoy learning. Through school extracurricular activities like production team the school musical, participating in Model United Nations, and pursuing my own endeavors like maintaining my website, Clairefy, writing, especially for publications like MissHeard Media, and tackling a random assortment of video and photography projects, I have realized my love for creating and learning. Be it a cactus flower for a dinner theater decoration, a draft resolution to solve a global issue, a blog post describing my adoration of a book, or a short film addressing an uncertain future, my creations outside the classroom extend solace under stress, teach me new skills, and promise new opportunities. My hobbies have taught me to experiment and persevere, and have reinvigorated a sense of childlike wonder and curiosity I don’t often encounter in a traditional classroom setting. My hobbies have admittedly faltered under the burden of completing assignments and studying to achieve test scores before, but still ultimately shape who I am today and who I am becoming.

As the sun beats down these next two months, I hope to pursue my hobbies in spite of the season’s homework assignments and test prep for my junior year. Summer is for creative pursuits. I’m excited to learn and create new things. This summer, I encourage you to seek what inspires you. Try something new—a sport, an art, a language. Find what makes you think, this is what I live for.

Related Reading

Self-Discovery & Life Transitions, an interview with Claire W. and Jackie W.

Mix Music With Your Writing! by Olivia Marcum

What do you live for? Discover your passion!

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