Always try new things


By Noah Baldauf

I believe in always trying new things. Attending Sidney High has forced me to hear some pretty wild and outrageous opinions from my fellow high schoolers on numerous occasions. One of my personal favorites is when I hear a kid complaining about how much they hate something. For example, my peers will share “I hate sushi,” or “ I hate country music,” or “I don’t like hiking.” Music, food, and experiences are commonplace in these conversations. What I find even more common is that when I ask if they have ever tried what they are criticizing the answer is alarmingly almost always “no.” It seems people are very comfortable remaining stagnant. My question is why do people fear giving something new a chance?

Everyone is guilty of not always wanting to try something new. This winter I was presented with the option to join the swim team. At first I concluded that joining the swim team was just going to be another obligation on my already jam-packed schedule. I thought I would rather stick to my familiar day to day throughout the winter. The lure of getting into shape ultimately made me make the decision to take a chance and join the swim team. The first few weeks of swim were some of the most challenging weeks of my life. Expanding my lungs to encompass the air I would need to breathe underwater or getting the rotations of my arms to propel me forward in the water the correct way took a great deal of time and energy. Now that swimming has ended I can not only say that I did achieve my goal of getting in shape, but the whole experience taught me I could do things I never thought I would be able to accomplish.

Another time I challenged myself to try something new was when I signed up for a solo and ensemble orchestra contest. Six years ago I started playing the viola in the orchestra at my school, but had never competed. A few years ago I decided to put my skills to the test by entering a contest. I signed up for a solo and an ensemble with two of my friends. My friends and I practiced earnestly for the ensemble performance until we felt confident we could achieve the highest score possible. The most challenging part of the whole experience was playing the solo by myself. My past orchestra experience meant nothing here- I couldn’t hide behind anyone or anything. I realized the only thing holding me back was a question about my confidence in myself as to whether or not I could play that song. When the day of the contest came, my friends and I achieved a perfect score. Then the time for my solo came. I anxiously waited for my score and I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw I had received a perfect score. Years later as first chair viola in my orchestra I see how this contest provided me with the experience I needed to become a better player.

I truly believe that branching out into different activities is the most beneficial thing I did for myself. I never thought I would be able to compete as a swimmer. I also doubted my ability to earn high scores playing the viola. What I learned is that if I can approach new experiences with an open mind and a willingness to work, there will be a positive outcome. We grow by making ourselves uncomfortable. Over the years I’ve learned that trying new things increases confidence, broadens outlook, and creates new and exciting opportunities. I challenge everyone to try something new. Pick up a new hobby. Try a new activity. Listen to a new genre of music you’ve never heard before or try a new food or restaurant. New experiences are what makes us grow.

Noah Baldauf is a student at Sidney High School. He is the son of Jeff and Amy Baldauf. He is a senior who participates in the Sidney High Orchestra and is a proud member of NHS. In his free time he enjoys playing tennis, hanging out with friends, and listening to music. He plans to attend Ohio University where he will be studying English.

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