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Confidence derived from music, faith

Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (KJV). This is the Bible verse that changed my life forever.

Overdramatic introduction, right? I know, it sounds cheesy. But, no matter how long I stared at that paragraph, I could not think of a better way to word it (and no, this is not due to “senioritis”). I guess it is because this verse has a dramatically important meaning to me.

Before I came to Fresno Christian, I was your typical apathetic elementary student who hid in the back of the classroom. My self-confidence was as low as my grades, and I did not really have any good friends.

Don’t get me wrong: I am not trying to make this a sob story. I got by pretty well. But that right there was the problem — all I was doing was getting by.

Basically, I was afraid to try. I was absolutely convinced that I could not do anything well enough. After all, it is always the same people who get the awards and recognition. Me? I just got locked in the bathroom by sixth-graders.

The combination of my unhappiness in school and my desire for a music program made my parents decide to enroll me in Fresno Christian my fifth grade year.

A lot of things changed for me that year. First off, hiding in the back of the classroom did not allow me to avoid participating. Second, I got involved in a great music program, of which I became the elementary first-chair percussionist. And third, my teacher had our class memorize Philippians 4:13, a verse I decided to take to heart.

From those days on, I never wanted to just “get by” again.

Over the years, I had great teachers who helped me do better on my homework. Once encouraged, I realized that I had the ability to get really high scores; I discovered that I was smart. I also built up enough confidence to join and contribute to California Scholarship Federation, a scholarship club, and The Feather, one of the top high school newspapers in the country!

As for band, with lots of practice, I discovered that I had a passion for music and continued to be a leading figure in the music program. Through music, I found something I loved, leadership abilities that I never knew I had, and my first real friends.

And now I am moving on to college, a completely new adventure with all new challenges.

Like most individuals my age, I am unsure of what path I will pursue. Archaeologist? Musician? Who knows? However, I am confident that Fresno Christian has helped prepare me for what lies ahead, academically, spiritually and socially.

High school has been a blessing, but now it is time to continue life’s journey. I am excited to see where God leads me, and, as long as I trust in him, I know that I can indeed do “all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Carlson will attend California Lutheran University in the fall, majoring in Geology, Psychology or Music Performance.

For more senior reflections, read the May 24 column, Individual talents supplement whole.

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