Senior Column: I regret not auditioning for Shir Madness


Daphne Kaplan, Outgoing Senior Design & In-Depth Editor

I wish I auditioned for Shir Madness. Not so everyone could relish in the sounds of my voice or so I could pursue my lifelong dream of being in an a cappella group. Instead, I wish I auditioned to do one thing in high school that was not necessarily related to serving in leadership positions or boosting my resume. Rather, to have fun and not be stressed by extracurriculars. And as I reflect on my high school experience, my yearning to have auditioned for Shir Madness could not be more emblematic of all of the extracurriculars I wish I participated in at CESJDS.

I have always been in awe of everyone in Shir Madness’ drive to sing their heart out, explore music genres in a cappella and bond with one another. I always knew I wanted to be a part of the group. Even though I assumed I would not make it, I knew it never hurt to try and audition. After years of telling myself I would audition, I never did. I always felt like I needed to preoccupy myself with other clubs — ones that I remain passionate about — that involved heavy workloads or had paths to leadership. I wish I knew that it is more than okay not to serve as a leader in everything you do. While people can take on leadership roles in Shir Madness, I saw auditioning as an outlet to be authentic, be in a community, have fun in a non-academic school extracurricular and for all of its random shenanigans.

Although easier said than done, especially in JDS’ competitive environment, seek out opportunities and extracurriculars that don’t make you overwhelmed or require you to always be in the spotlight. Do something for yourself. JDS offers numerous opportunities beyond the classroom to let loose. So let loose, and don’t be afraid to pursue something that seemingly has no relation to your resume. If you have a dream, seek it now with no regrets. While participating in JDS sports teams wasn’t my niche, I know that the coaches and teammates still provide a fun environment to grow as an athlete. In a school with impressive programs, we often forget about opportunities like the Baking Club. Even if I had not gotten into Shir Madness, I wish I had thrown myself into something fun and different. As my time at JDS comes to a close, I urge you to do the same; if not for a new repertoire of songs to sing, do it for the yummy baked goods.