Take risks, try everything


“I’m not really into that, so I’ll pass.”

“I left because I probably won’t write it on my college application.”

“No, that doesn’t fit with the rest of my activities.” 

Too often, we dismiss opportunities believing that they aren’t worth our time or don’t fit our profile. It happens frequently when self-identified STEM students don’t apply for clubs like MUN and vice versa for humanities students with clubs like Mu Alpha Theta (for more on that, read Daniel’s opinion piece). 

There are far more subtle examples of this, too. Not signing up for smaller competitions within clubs or dismissing the importance of executive positions (and not applying) are all examples of missed opportunities. Though those chances may not seem individually significant, they often end up bringing indispensable high school experiences.

In fairness, there are many valid reasons why someone may turn down such opportunities. Here at SIS, we are presented with an endless list of activities: there are seemingly lectures, club events, or tournaments every week. Turning down one or two doesn’t seem like a big deal. 

SIS students also lead busy lives, and proper time management requires us to choose our commitments wisely. With finite time, strategic sacrifices have to be made somewhere. Especially if you feel overburdened, dropping some responsibilities is a healthy choice. 

But in most cases, these are just excuses. Can you truly not spare a couple hours for volunteering over the weekend—after you’ve joined a volunteer club? If a competition doesn’t seem significant enough to write on a resume, does that justify setting a poor example for other members by showing your disengagement?

At the heart of these excuses is a simple truth: we aren’t passionate enough about many of our activities. Considering the variety of activities SIS students pursue, it’s no surprise that we’re less invested in some. 

However, that’s not a problem. We’re only high school students—few of us have the privilege of knowing what we’re passionate about. No, the issue is that despite not knowing what we’re passionate about, we refuse to experiment and take risks. As a result of our aversion to trying new things, no passion is developed, and the cycle continues.

Who’s passionate about something without attempting it first? Though it’s counterintuitive, lack of passion is exactly what should motivate us to try everything—to find that missing spark. 

So don’t reject opportunities because they don’t seem important or because you don’t expect to find it interesting. Throw yourself out there and see what sticks, because otherwise, you’re not even giving yourself a chance to find what truly drives you.