special to 92131 Magazine

Exploring Interests

It was around this time a few years ago that I was nearing the end of eighth grade and anxiously looking towards high school and all its mysteries. Who was I going to be? How much would the classes and campus differ from Marshall? What was I going to do for next four the years of my life?

I knew I liked writing, and learning about cells, and talking (well, arguing) with people, but I didn’t know how to feed all these different curiosities. So I joined a lot of clubs and activities, and as I explored parts of myself that had been latent for so long, I discovered which interests were niches I could continue to carve, and which ones were just activities that seemed intriguing.

For instance, I realized I loved to debate, perform, and express myself publicly, but I preferred to speak more about people and draw heavily from emotion. Mock trial taught me how to argue effectively and confront unexpected viewpoints in a practical, high-stakes setting. Spoken word poetry took what I love doing the most, writing, and allowed me to expose all my fears and dreams and questions to an unapologetic, welcoming audience. I quit Model United Nations to pursue these two clubs, and although I envied my friends who stayed, I’m glad I delved into rhetoric from both a logical and artistic sense.

It’s challenged my perspective of humanity and strengthened my confidence, as I became more comfortable with voicing my thoughts, and introduced me to many supportive, conscientious peers, who further broadened my views. Although I will likely be much busier with my studies in college, I hope to continue many of my extracurricular activities because the things you choose to learn outside of the classroom are just as important.

CATHERINE PHAM is a senior at Scripps Ranch High School. She is participating in an internship program with 92131 Magazine.