Imagine a beach, waves curling up and lapping on the sunny shore. You are walking in the sand feeling it spread beneath your feet and gurgle up between your toes. Stop for moment. Bend down and use your hands to scope up a handful of sand. Look closely at it. From far away the sand looked beige but up close all the little grains take on different colors, betraying their diverse origins.
This is what New York City is like. When I first arrived I was amazed by the shear magnitude of difference that could exist in one subway car. Soon, however I began to feel myself disappear in the crowds, becoming part of the beige. It’s hard to stand out in a city where the extraordinary is ordinary.
I found solace in knowing that not everyone has the same things to say, the same way to speak. The connections made by one’s brain are the result of a truly unique mix of experiences, beliefs, and knowledge– these are the building blocks of identity. Yet, the individuality of one’s thoughts goes unnoticed unless one has the ability to powerfully voice these unique connections. Developing strong public speaking skills has given me the ability to assert myself in crowds– to stand out not because of how I look but because of how I voice my own thoughts and opinions.
To be a contributing member to society it’s important to teach the unique connections our minds make, as well. A city is the sum of its parts. Its ability to grow rests on the ability of its citizens to share their knowledge and skills with others– to create a critical mass of educated individuals who then power the city. Teaching is a key component in leadership and can always be improved upon. Believe it or not, learning to teach also enhances your own ability to learn.
This is why joined Speaking Fellows: to hone my public speaking skills and to develop as a teacher. Rooted in an attempt to find a place in the city, Speaking Fellows has helped me find my voice in the crowd. Everyone comes to Speaking Fellows for different reasons– if you see a Speaking Fellow around campus or in a Speaking Session don’t hesitate to ask them their story. If it resonates with you join Speaking Fellows and raise your voice as well.
Click here for the application.