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The student news site of Downers Grove South High School


The student news site of Downers Grove South High School


‘Bee’ yourself: Flipping the script on fear

Juliana Conyer
I stand with zero shame in the middle of my junior high school common area dressed as a bee in a tutu, my costume for our performance.

Sometimes the Hollywood stereotypes are true and high school really is a popularity contest. It almost seems like everything you do needs to be precisely calculated in order to appease your peers and the world around you, but I’m here to tell you that that isn’t the case. Your fear of looking stupid is holding you back.

Obviously, I am a high schooler too, so I have fallen victim to the perpetual cyclone that is trying to keep up with what is considered “popular” or “cool,” but some of my greatest relationships, experiences and moments of my life have stemmed from purely being myself and ignoring what others think about me. If you constantly worry about how you look in other people’s eyes, you are going to lose sight of who you really are.

When I was in sixth grade, a couple of good friends and I took an acting class that our school offered. We were tasked with the very open ended prompt of putting on a solo or group performance. While many offered to sing or even lip sync to songs, our group took the only route that any 12-year-old in 2019 would- we put on our own production of Jerry Seinfeld’s “The Bee Movie.”

While most people would be nervous to perform in front of their entire class of judgemental middle schoolers, I had no shame. So much so that I even opted to walk around school for the entire day dressed in my bee costume in order to promote our performance.

To spare the rest of the details, the production was about as average as you could expect. It was a bunch of 12-year-olds who tried to cut down a full-length film into an eight-minute performance. While it obviously wasn’t an Oscar-worthy performance, the fact of the matter was that me and the rest of my group had a blast doing it and most of the people who watched it have surely forgotten about it now.

This experience brought me and my friends closer— not only in the moment but in the long run as well. Whether it was Lily and Jadynn making one of their moms drive them to the craft store to buy materials for our hot-glued costumes or even being at each other’s throats because we couldn’t get our lines right I wouldn’t trade those memories for anything. The point is that it was our disregard of peer judgment that allowed us to have fun and make a lasting impression on the school.

Oh right, I haven’t even mentioned that part. The photo above is still hanging up in my sixth grade science classroom. I am even still in touch with my sixth grade science teacher and my acting teacher. In another world, I may have been afraid to put on this performance out of fear of judgment, but in this world I wasn’t and it allowed me to thrive in the end.

I’m not saying that you and a group of friends need to go out and dress up as bees to have a good time, but I am saying you need to prioritize your own enjoyment and well-being over what you think will make you fit in. Maybe you want to audition for a school play, try out for the football team or ask that person to homecoming. Even if you fear the result— just go for it.

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