Can you think back to when you realized you had a particular talent or gift for something? Perhaps you wrote a short story and someone complimented you on your writing skills. Perhaps you tried your hand at baking and your family and friends were blown away with your approach to a recipe that they hadn’t ever considered. Or maybe you signed up for a 5K run and were surprised by how well you performed that you realized with a little extra effort, you could be exceptional. We have to have these opportunities to try something new in order to see if it is something we enjoy and/ or something we might have a talent for. These are important beginnings to possible careers, side hustles, or hobbies that can become lifelong passions.
Our intentionally small size at Roycemore allows for students to try new activities and explore aspects of themselves that they might never get to do in a larger setting, where tryouts exclude all but the very best in class from many opportunities. Indeed, how often is it that a senior in high school has an opportunity to participate in a school musical for the first time and realizes she can sing? Roycemore’s performance of the musical, Chicago, was an exceptional example of the beauty of what can happen in an environment where it is safe to take risks. Each and every student who participated in the show took some risks, but I was particularly struck by a student who is known for her intellectual curiosity and depth, who uncharacteristically took on a role in the Upper School musical. When I heard her sing, I was blown away by the beauty and strength of her voice. Her mother sat nearby and I whispered, “I didn’t know she could sing!” Her response? “I never heard her sing before!” It was a wow moment. Then when I spoke to the student following the performance and acknowledged her talent on top of all of her other talents, she too said, “I didn’t know I could sing!” Wow!
Moments like these are powerful. The confidence that is built from taking a risk, and then growing from the risk that was taken, provides us strength to take the next risk–allowing us to grow even further. Whether or not this senior will ever participate in such an activity again in the future doesn’t matter. What does matter is that it proved to her that she is so much more capable and talented than she realized. There is so much in her that she has to give to the world. This is true for each of our children. Providing opportunities to help young people realize their gifts and talents is one of the great honors of our faculty at Roycemore.