A Freshman: Forensics is Scary

Updated: Dec 1, 2020

Forensics has to be one of the most fun, exciting, and terrifying adventures in my life. I’ve always been someone that loves to please people. Make them laugh, make them cry, just make people emotional. Forensics gave me the opportunity to do this...with the expense of MAJOR social anxiety. While I do love making people laugh and happy, I REALLY love being in my own bubble. Being in my own shell, a turtle if you will. So, when I started Forensics in 8th grade, I felt...scared. For someone who loved to be the center of attention, it felt so odd performing in front of a bunch of prepubescent teenagers. Knowing that I had all these eyes on me all the time made me so nervous, and it made me start to hate Forensics. I was dreading coming to school, and dreading the embarrassment of having to perform in front of other people. I finally one day told my friends, “I’m scared and I don’t want to this.” She looked at me and just said, “Same.” I was shocked. Someone else was scared too? We talked more and more, and she told me that she was just as nervous and she was feeling the same way. I got more comfortable, I made friends, and I got to be myself. Then, 9th grade happened. One hundred kids. All loud and eccentric, we were drama kids. I walked into the BHS Forensics room on the first day and immediately saw smiling faces, people singing, and just dancing around. Now while this might sound amazing, which it was, it was also absolutely overwhelming. I was coming from over 5 months of isolation, a lot of my own problems, and a bunch of already relevant social anxiety. I sat down next to this super buff guy (who is a senior by the way) and I just asked him how long he had been in Forensics. “It’s my first year, and I’m super nervous.” TWO FOR TWO. Another person was nervous, and he was a senior! We talked and bonded over how scary this all was, being pushed to talk with other people, and how I knew no one. I had to make new friends, and I had to start getting serious about performing. Our first piece was to be written, and I chose an Oratory. I had to completely write, memorize, and perform a speech in just a few weeks. Ten minutes. 1500 words. And? I was to film myself performing it, and the WHOLE ENTIRE CLASS was going to watch and critique. I was panicking. I was crying and trying my best to talk to my mom. How was I going to do this? This was a class with freshmen through SENIORS. Have I mentioned there were seniors? The day finally came where my video had to be shown. The only thing I could think to do was to put in my earbuds and close my eyes. Time felt like it was going slow, but when I took out my earbuds and looked around, everyone was clapping. They all were smiling and a few just gave me thumbs up. They were great, they told me useful information that could help me, and it was great. Forensics is scary, and I’m not going to lie, it’s one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done. But, I have met so many people who have helped me and related to me. We all are scared, but we can be scared together. Just remember you aren’t alone, and it will all be ok. :)


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Lilly-Grace Putnam

Bentonville High School Freshman


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