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How Extracurriculars Ignited My Writing Journey: The Power of Passion Beyond the Classroom

It was a warm August afternoon, I was walking around my high school’s quad when I saw a huge royal blue banner with a “K,” on it. I stopped in my tracks and saw three students smiling at me as they began introducing their club. That club was Key Club International, and little did I know, this would begin my passion for leadership. 

The first Key Club event I attended took place three months later. On an early November morning, when the sun rose, my friend and I hopped onto a vehicle to attend one of Key Club’s annual events: Fall Rally. The night before, I was going through social media to overlook what Fall Rally is like. I came across a video of a group of Key Club members passionately chanting their Division’s cheers at the Fall Rally event. 

I didn’t get the idea of the cheers or why we needed to travel two hours to Six Flags at 5:00 AM. However, by the time we arrived, I was met with colorful signs with Division mascots, an array of colors overwhelming me as I saw hundreds of people about to enter the park. 

For reference, a Division in the Key Club world overlooks around 10 or more Key Clubs. As I watched the hundreds of kids cheer on, I began to admire the members' passion for community service. I grew more curious about what it meant to get involved in Key Club. 

By my sophomore year, I made connections within Key Club and grew more passionate about serving the community. As someone who struggled to find her place growing up, I felt that I finally had a place where I could develop as a person. With Key Club, I was able to foster a passion for leadership and love to connect with people around me. 

With this, I became Vice President, and then President of my High School’s Key Club and became Historian for the Division Leadership Team. Applying for these positions was definitely out of my comfort zone but if I didn’t muster up the courage to apply, I wouldn’t have gotten the rewarding experiences that Key Club gave me over the past four years. 

With my growing passion for leadership and making connections, I became involved in the National Honors Society, Church Choir, Tech Theatre, Sports, and Journalism. 

During my sophomore year in quarantine, a new club came to be. It was a journalism club. Ever since I was five years old, I loved to write stories about imaginary characters and the creative freedom it gave me. Joining the journalism club gave me a chance to learn more about my writing and the potential it gave me to express my thoughts. For the first time, I felt an intense euphoric feeling exploring the possibilities of being a writer. 

This passion would further deepen during my junior year. In March 2021, I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. I remember the days when I felt hopeless about being able to pursue the various dreams I had for myself. I thought everything was going to be limited or on hold because of my disease. However, I was able to prove myself wrong. Sharing my story was something I never expected myself to do. With it being completely out of my comfort zone, I began to write about my story. 

I wanted to be able to make an impact and turn all the negatives into positives. I decided to share the symptoms I experienced before getting rushed to the ER, with the hopes of it being able to save the lives of those around me. Telling my story made me feel content, and it made me happy knowing that I could help others by telling my story. I was able to publish my writing through LA Times High School Insider. I only shared this article with a few friends and family because I was too shy to share my writing. 

I remember presenting about this feat at my senior capstone presentation, with one of my advisors mentioning that I should’ve talked about it more. Going into college, the lingering thought of becoming a journalist stayed at the back of my mind. One day, I wrote a sports article for fun after watching a UCLA football game. It felt cool seeing writers being able to create a story in real-time. 

I also developed a passion for sports during my high school years, getting into soccer, tennis, basketball, and more. I was intrigued by spectating in the audience and discovered that there is a story within every match whether that would be a breakthrough from a player recovering from injury or a title win for a soccer league. 

Combining my passion for writing and sports? Sounds like a dream come true! By becoming a writer, I was becoming my leader and I am also able to grow and develop as a person. Earlier this year, I decided to become a part of my school’s student-run newspaper— The Daily Bruin—where I currently cover the Men’s Tennis, Women’s Tennis, and Rowing beats. I plan to expand my sports writing soon, but I am super enthusiastic about what the future holds. 

By getting myself involved in various extracurriculars, I was able to take steps to grow into the person I am now. I was able to find places to lead, connect, and discover my passions. Never be afraid to get out of your comfort zone, life’s greatest moments happen when we exceed the limits of what’s possible.

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