Share What Your Mama Gave You: Making Time for Talents as a Full-time Student
Written by Mary Beth Hills
Wake up. Eat breakfast. Go to school.
Sit in school all day. Stay after for French club/basketball practice/National Honor Society
service hours. Go home. Do homework. Eat dinner. Do more homework. Go to bed, just to wake
up the next day and do it all over again.
Monday through Friday look eerily alike, probably something similar (or identical) to the
situation above. By the time you’re done with homework, you’re too exhausted to find joy in
your day by doing something you love.
Let me tell you a little something: you are blessed with many talents. In her book The Happiness
Project, Gretchen Rubin says, “Do what you do.” Your passions and talents manifest themselves
when you let go and enjoy life. Maybe you spend your evenings studying advertisements in
magazines. Maybe you design outfits all weekend long. Maybe you scrounge around the kitchen
and create delicious meals out of random ingredients.
You may be thinking, I’m not good at anything. Think again! Follow Rubin’s advice: if you had
a day to do anything you wanted, what would you do? Would you bake a dozen cakes? Read?
Organize the garage? It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you’re passionate about it.
Doing what you love is not a chore. The difficult thing about recognizing your interests is doing them on a regular basis. How do you compromise your passions with the monotony of school?
It’s easy to spice up school while doing what you enjoy. Maybe your talent is already embedded into your day—you race to second hour geometry, fourth hour Spanish, or sixth hour chemistry. Maybe you go in an hour early for band.
Unfortunately, not everyone has this opportunity. What if you dream about spending your days decorating and organizing? What if your heart sings when you take apart and reassemble a computer? What do you do if your day is measured in photographs?
First things first: See if your school offers a “specials” class related to your talents. For the future Annie Leibovitz’s: Your school may offer photography classes or an art class that includes a unit on photography. For the upcoming technology pioneers, your school may offer classes on computer applications.
Second: Look for an after school club, or start one. Teachers and counselors are very supportive of students, and many are willing to oversee after-school clubs. Talk with a teacher you trust and ask if they would help you start a club.
If those two ideas don’t work out, it’s time to get creative. For the future organizing stars, ask your teachers if you can stay after school to clean up the classroom. If you’re on good terms with one or two teachers in particular, offer suggestions on how to arrange the room to permit the most space or engage all students (teachers love that). If you specialize in all things kitchen related, bake something for the next school bake sale or offer to bring in a treat related to a certain lesson (if you’re learning about the French revolution, you could bring in quiche or pain au chocolat).
There are opportunities to infuse your day with a little bit of passion. God gave you your gifts for a reason, so find ways to share them with everyone around you!