I have always thought about how I can change the world by starting small. I want to impact the world positively through the minds of our future, children.
I have been performing and acting since the age of 2. I have grown to love it so much that I am continuing it in college and as a career. I want to make an impact on the world by using my skills and knowledge to help teach children ways of coping with anxiety through performance. I want to teach children in classes of 10 or more, that there is a healthy way of coping with life events that they may not have discovered yet. From the time I was a baby through my sophomore year, I had severe stress and anxiety issues. They caused a rapid decline in my mental and physical health, made me self-conscious, and caused me to lash out at the people I love. I used stress as an excuse to not succeed in life and the important decisions I made. My family spent countless hours putting me through talk therapy and counseling, which had little effect on me. My hope started to fade in my early teen years and I grew fearful that I would never overcome this.
After several years of struggle, I was finally able to find a solution that helped lower my stress levels and improve my coping skills immensely. I recognized that performing does not have to just be a hobby for me. It can be an escape and a healthy coping method for stress. I wish I had someone tell me that I could use performing as an outlet earlier, but I needed to discover that the tool to coping with anxiety was right in front of my face my whole life. Ever since that realization I have been coping with stress and anxiety through performing.
After my experience, I realized that children dealing with stress and anxiety should have the opportunity to learn that this is a useful tool to learn at an early age and can be used for the rest of one’s life. So through these classes, I want to teach, I want to show kids through warm-ups, monologues, and scenes, that you can release something that has been holding you back for a while. I also want to show children through these classes, that the power of writing, is endless. I would allow children to draw or write in a few sentences how they are feeling (what they are willing to share) and another classmate would perform these few lines or interpret a photo to help the child face these problems head-on, rather than leaving their feelings inside. It would even entail that during one class, parents could come to sit in on the performances to see how their kid is feeling through their writings and drawings.
I can only hope that by teaching these types of classes, children can learn to cope with stress and anxiety in healthy ways and become aware of the effects of stress. Hopefully, these children can continue to use the tools I teach them throughout the rest of their lives.
Scholarship Essay by Jenna Lee McCarty
UCA’s most recent Scholarship Essay Contest for High School Juniors and Seniors officially ended on May 15, 2020. While the theme has always been to explore ways to make a more caring world, our most recent Essay Contest specifically asked how they would make a more caring world in one of four categories – Children – Animals – Reforestation – Elderly. The winning essays have been posted and awards distributed.
Because there were so many impressive essays submitted from across the U.S., we decided to share many of these students’ inspiring caring actions with you in this publication. Through their essays, the students provide a refreshing insight into their minds and hearts, offering an in depth view of our world that we often overlook. They take us on a journey rich in knowledge, personal experience and creative solutions. It is our hope you will feel as informed and inspired as we do. We are proud to present to you the writings, thoughts and dreams for a more caring future through these articles.