Making Art Is My #1 Stress Reliever
Stressed out? We feel you. And Trump’s not making things any easier. With gov budget cuts, arts education has never been less valued or more valuable. Don’t get us wrong; STEM is still so important. But studies show that when students have curriculum that encourages creativity—i.e. flexing the right side of your brain—grades are better, self-esteem is higher, and you’ll even score better on tests. Here, one 16-year-old talks about how discovering dance and drawing changed her life. Literally.
Being a 16-year-old can be stressful. Studying for Advanced Placement tests, perfecting my SAT score, and getting ready to start applying for college. Believe me I have been there. It can be intimidating.
When I was in middle school, I was not as studious as I am today. I would play video games, watch TV, draw on any piece of paper I could find, and run around in my living room to music. But when freshmen year second semester hit, I told myself I had to push myself harder. And I did! I got straight A’s and enrolled in Honors and AP classes.
But when I became a sophomore, things started to get harder. I was up all night studying for chemistry, catching up on English, reading for history, and whole lotta other stuff. I needed an escape to get away from all the homework and tests.
Then I got a crazy idea. I am going to join dance. What?! A 14-year-old—about to turn 15—is going to start dance? Impossible. That's too old. But that did not stop me. I did not let anybody tell me that I was too old to learn. So I enrolled in the nearest dance studio...and I fell in love. A place where I could forget homework and tests and just dance.
Then junior year, I decided to take an art class. It was the best decision I ever made. It was the perfect way to start my day. It was relaxing, and I could express and convey myself through my art.
It also opened up so many doors for me. Since taking art class, I have won two poster contests in the same year. I didn’t enter because I thought I was going to win; I just entered because I was proud of my artwork.
I turned to art as a stress reliever, but it has now become my passion. I take ballet and jazz, as well as art. Next year I will be taking advanced art which I am really excited for. My dream right now is to be accepted into the Brown-RISD Dual Degree program. I would have never imagined that art would be my career choice.
Don’t let obstacles get in the way of you being yourself. Sometimes life can surprise you.
By Ana Sofia Rodriguez, 16