Community Stories. Get Inspired, Get Underlined


By @Evelyn_2003


For as long as I can remember I was always a timid person, since a young age I was taught to stay quiet. “Talking back” for any reason whatsoever was seen as disrespectful and when an elder or adult finished speaking I was not allowed to express my thoughts unless they desired a response. I never knew that this childhood rule I was taught would follow me for many years to come.

All through my Elementary school years and 6-7th grade I tried my best to not be noticed. There was never a moment where I was not looking at the ground with a straight face, as I roamed the school campus. I remember that every year I always hoped I could find a seat in the back or recieve a table all to myself. I didn’t like to socialize; I was constantly afraid of putting my ideas out there because I thought they would just get shut down. I never liked the attention from people especially my classmates and teachers, so I began to let others take credit for my creativity. I mean that’s where I was most comfortable, in the dark shadows of other’s “success”.

Things began to slowly change as I became older. In 8th grade, my last year of middle school, I was no longer that shy, scared, little girl as I was a couple years back. I was one of the eldest on campus now and It made me feel independant as if I didn’t need anyone’s “shadow”; This feeling eventually faded throughout the year. Then, one November Friday night (of 2016) my friends asked If I wanted to go to the biggest game of the season, The Battle of The “O”, all of us were very excited after all it was our first high school football game. Everyone in the audience was cheering with excitement as the end of 2nd quarter was approaching; the cheerleaders rallied their way towards the middle of the football field on that big teal fireball that caught your eye once you arrived. That was the first performance that I had ever seen from them, from that performance I aspired to be on that field dancing my heart out to the upbeat music under the bright stadium lights.

I told others about my interest in cheerleading but they all thought it was stupid or silly since I was still an anti-social, dorky girl, with low self-esteem. I was still shy about my interests and having them being laughed at just caused me to lose more confidence, so for a time I just hid them away. Months had passed, it was now April of 2017, OCHS cheer tryouts were soon beginning. One of my closest friends was going to tryouts for her 4th year in cheer and she wanted someone to accompany her, I gladly offered. Those 3 days of tryouts were the most joyful days than 3 years of my short life. I was so excited being there, I finally felt like myself, like I could do anything. The last day was the most nerve wracking moment of my life. A couple hours had passed after my performance and the coach was taking out the sheet of paper with the numbers of the OCHS Cheer Squad 17-18. It was the moment of truth and there it was, I repeatedly looked at the number 4 pinned to my shirt and the number 4 written on that sheet of lined paper, back and forth. I screamed with exhilaration, I had finally accomplished that “silly” dream, as everyone else called it.

My first cheer season had began, everyone was so surprised due to the fact that I never had put myself out there like that. There were many doubters who didn’t believe in my skills but with them along came admirers. To this day, there are still many girls who come to me for advice since I was the only girl with no experience to have made the squad that year; They were in the same position as I was. That number 4 on that sheet of paper made me realize that I shouldn’t care what others think and speak my mind, anyways in the end the only person I should be making happy is myself.

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