As someone who grew up loud and outgoing in a calm and quiet family, I couldn’t really find a place to be myself. Growing up, I learned how to stay quiet because I was afraid of being judged for being “too weird.” As a result, I ended up creating a shell over me that would always pull me back in when I tried to escape.
Once I walked through the doors of my high school in freshman year, I was given a chance of a fresh start and the chance to break free from my shell. My best friend brought me to my first Key Club meeting right after school. (Shoutout to Harleen Gill!) She told me how Key Club was about volunteering for events to help our community and to meet new people. She always mentioned about her older brother finding his best friends in Key Club. I started to grow interest in the club, because I’ve always loved helping and meeting others. So we decided to attend the meeting with some other mutual friends. I was filled with positive emotions, everyone was loud, proud and feeling good. They were all so kind and caring; they were all I ever aspired to be.
Throughout the months of attending meetings, becoming an officer to get more involved kept running through my mind. I wanted to start at the bottom by being bulletin editor because I didn’t have that much experience at anything else. I was terrified at first because I knew that I had to stand in front of at least 50 people and talk about why I wanted to become bulletin editor. Days quickly passed by and before I knew it, election day came. I prepared a speech in the form of a poem, hoping that I would stand out more than the other people that I went against. I walked to the front of the room; my hands were shaking the paper that held my speech and my palms were so sweaty that I felt like the paper would become soggy and leave a sweat stains on it. So much anxiety was built up from this one moment. I kept my head held high throughout it while trying to be myself at the same time. This moment was the most important moment, not just in my Key Club journey, but in my personal life as well. By the end of the night, they announced the winners of the election. I scrolled down to see the names of the people and surprisingly saw my name. I was ecstatic to have known that I had won the election. I called Harleen and she congratulated me on winning, telling me she knew I could do it. From that point on, I learned so much more than being bulletin editor. I learned more about Key Club, what it means to help my home school and community, leadership skills, and who I am.
Ever since my first Key Club meeting, I’ve become the person I’ve always dreamed of becoming. I am outgoing. I am confident. I am a leader. When I am in Key Club, I am truly happy with what I do and with the people that surround me. I have made a family within a club that I have been involved in for the past four years now and I love every person that I have met. I still even keep in touch with Key Clubbers that have graduated back when I was a freshman, for they are part of the reason why I have kept going as an officer and life in general. As I write this, I will be going through my senior year as President of Mount Rainier High School’s Key Club. I no longer hold myself back when I’m with others during the meetings and everywhere else. Without Key Club, I probably would still be too shy to show myself around school. Key Club has profoundly changed the way I am and I can’t thank this organization enough for everything it has helped me accomplish. By showing who I am and sharing my story, maybe one day I can help another person break through their own shells through Key Club, just like I did.