The following story was submitted by Olivia L. from CYT Houston for the 2019 My CYT Story Competition.

CYT has helped me in many different ways, but the most important and prominent way is how it has helped me overcome my anxiety. When I first joined CYT, I did not want to speak to anyone. I remember my first class vividly and how I was absolutely terrified to do any sort of accent in front of the class. Once the class continued, however, I saw that no one was really judging my accents (and everyone else sounded goofy too). I grew more comfortable, but I still didn’t want to do anything that put any attention on me. As the classes continued and I experienced lots of stress over the idea of performing in front of people, I also found that the people I was with were making the process a little easier. Even my teachers were willing to work with me to help me gain confidence! Then, I decided to do my first show. I was completely inaudible during my entire audition and definitely cried a bit, but I had an absolutely amazing time in the show and I made lots of friends.

One of the unique things I experienced during the CYT show was all of the hugging. I was not used to people outside of my family hugging me, and it initially made me uncomfortable. Now, I hug people a lot and I quite enjoy receiving hugs from friends as well. It took me a very long time to gain the confidence to sing in front of anyone, even though I was gaining confidence in other areas through CYT, but finally I did it at the CYT Trinity Pines summer camp a little less than a year ago. I didn’t do very well and I was incredibly anxious during the whole audition, but I ended up with a small solo for our showcase. When I went onstage and sang my little solo for the first time, my mom started crying because she had never heard me sing before.

It’s taken me 17 years, four of which have been with CYT, but I finally have the courage to sing in front of others and to be myself. After that experience, I have just been gaining more confidence and I even take voice lessons with other students and sing loudly! Ultimately, I would never be as confident as I am now if it weren’t for CYT, and that is what CYT means to me.

Want to submit your story to the My CYT Story Competition? Deadline is April 1.

DISCLAIMER: Though all complete stories submitted will be forwarded to their respective Branch’s leadership for judging as part of the My CYT Story Competition, not all stories will be published on this blog. Likewise, having your story published on the blog does not guarantee that your story has been selected as a Branch Winner.

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