Columnist addresses recent change of heart concerning identity

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 8.18.36 AM

Recently, I found myself in a rut. Cheerleading and musical theatre; both things that used to make me happy, didn’t anymore. This realization was hard to accept. I wondered, is this just part of growing up, or is something wrong with me?

Staring at a brochure about depression that was handed out in English, I noticed that one of the major symptoms was loss of interest in things that you used to enjoy. Worried, I began to think that the feelings I had been experiencing could be more serious than I had previously thought.

But no, that wasn’t me. I was just changing. Evolving. Just because you grow out of certain things as time passes, doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re clinically depressed. If you’re like me, it could just mean that you’re going through a mid-teenage crisis.

Mid-teenage crisis. Noun. An emotional crisis of identity and self-confidence that can occur around age 16.

My self-diagnosis proved to be true. For a while, cheerleading, the sport that I used to love, had been annoying me. The long practices combined with the competition and the injuries I had retained made it difficult for me to still find joy in it. Nevertheless, I convinced myself that I was just tired. Besides, I didn’t want to come off as a quitter, and I was worried about my health if I were to stop.

It all came down to one practice, where I was feeling particularly fed up. It was then that I realized that the only thing still driving me to cheerlead, as well as participate in musical theatre, was that it would be something else to add to my college applications. And frankly, that is just sad.

I then came to the conclusion that it is because college apps are looming overhead that I need to be focused and not participate in activities I don’t love that will just become distractions. After all, the future is what matters, right? I mean, that’s the rest of your life. And did I want to spend the rest of my life doing things that made me nothing but frustrated? Was I going to major in, or even continue doing these things in college? No, and no. I already knew what I wanted to do with my life; I always have. I want to write.

It’s hard to give up activities that you have always done, but sometimes it takes doing that to re-discover what you really love. And for me, that’s writing. That’s what I need to be focused on come my senior year.

So, I have decided to quit the things that weren’t making me happy. I’m done. Maybe it’s just early-onset senioritis, but I feel good about the decisions I have made. Honestly, I am relieved, and I feel more like the person that I have always wanted to become.

That being said, if you find yourself in a similar situation, don’t second guess yourself. Go with what you truly want to continue doing and really think about what leaves you smiling after a long day. Trust me; if you follow your passions, you can’t go wrong.