By Gaby Hirsch ’20
To me, the word confidence is being able to trust yourself and your abilities. Confidence is something that many teenagers seek to find, especially within ourselves. Self-esteem is something I have struggled with for as long as I can remember.
Coming to Hyde last winter, I did not trust my self, nor did I trust others. I did not involve myself in the community because I had no confidence in my voice.
Now that I have allowed Hyde to help me, I have found my voice and developed public speaking confidence. I now am able to stand up in front of the entire school and share vulnerably, create leadership in my dorm and on the tennis court, and write these articles every week!
I couldn’t have done these things without the support of the faculty here, specifically, Mr. Condon, Mrs. Dubsinky, and Mrs. Peltzer. All three of these faculty have not only vouched for me, they also have challenged me to step outside of my comfort zone in all areas of my life. Stepping outside of my comfort zone allows me to feel confident in myself because it takes a lot of courage to do something that is not inside my wheelhouse.
Two really unique ways Hyde helps develop confidence are through the Auditions process and ropes course activities.
Every semester, all students and faculty have to stand up in front of the entire student body and sing a song for one full minute. Obviously, this is beyond nerve racking, but the support of everyone cheering for you and giving you hugs after you’ve finished is the best feeling.
Parents have to do auditions, too! During the FLC, parents must sing two verses and a chorus for the whole group. Auditions always bring a smile to everyone’s faces.
As for the ropes course, every student came down to it this fall with their athletic team and tried out the rock wall activity on the course, as well as doing some really unique team bonding activities. One in particular was the Trust Fall. We walked on a tight rope, (about one foot above ground), and had to use each other for balance and support. This brought my soccer team much closer together than we were prior to coming to the ropes course.
Both of these activities have helped my confidence grow tremendously. At the ropes course, I grew in confidence in the female community. While facing my fear of heights, I had girls on the team cheering me on by name and expressing to me how proud they were of me when I came down. That is what growing confidence is all about. Auditioning in front of the entire school also helped me to trust myself and my voice. I was able to feel confident that no one was expecting me to sound like Beyonce, they just wanted me to try my best.
Building my confidence has both improved my self-esteem and my courage. Knowing that I now possess this inner confidence, I believe that I am much better prepared for the path ahead.
Photo above: Hyde students develop confidence during an international students retreat this past fall.