Speaking Up and Speaking Your Mind


Technology is an interesting thing for so many reasons.We have the ability to speak our minds; to say what we want without the feeling of being judged. 

For example, look at me right now.

You can’t. 

You’re reading my words, but you can’t see me. 

You can’t hear my voice tremor, and I don’t feel the pressure of your eyes. 

I, a person described as shy and quiet, can write endlessly with little worry about your reception. I am unable to see your initial response or possible judgement. I can confidently write an essay about my thoughts on a topic; however, if I was to present these ideas in front of a classroom of my peers, all stability in my voice and confidence in my opinions goes out the window. 

In contrast, I have no problem talking in rooms filled with people when I know I will never see those people again. When it comes to playing an emotional or bold witness in Mock Trial or giving a detail orientated direct examination as a lawyer in front of a room of spectators, opponents and even judges, I have no problem. 

In a room filled with students from all across Minnesota, who also take part in Model UN, I have no problem getting up and expressing my thoughts and ideas. 

At Speech tournaments, I have no trouble being loud, brave and confident. I am so strong in my abilities to write and speak in an engaging and pulling manner that I have won multiple awards and made many friends. I’m not afraid to use my voice in these scenarios because I know that my chances of seeing these people again are close to none. 

While at work, I have no trouble sparking up conversations with customers, but when it comes to talking to co-workers who I attend school with, I can barely say “hi” let alone have a conversation. 

On the topic of speaking your mind, many students don’t talk during virtual classes in a Google Meet or Zoom. I believe it is for a similar reason. When asked a question in a virtual class, it can feel like so much pressure is on you to respond. As soon as you begin to speak, all eyes will dart across the screen onto the little square with your face on it. For some students this idea is completely terrifying. 

Other students don’t struggle with this fear of having 20 other students stare at them as they ask or answer a question. They can speak with confidence – they just choose not to. 

Everyone has a voice and should use it. Whether it is to speak out on what’s meaningful to them or to encourage others to do so, it is vital for growth within ourselves and others. 

The question I really want to ask is: “Are you afraid to speak your mind, or are you fearless?” Either way, your voice and your opinions matter. They deserve to be heard. So, if you are feeling up to the challenge, write something for The Ahlahasa. Write about anything you feel passionate about. Get your thoughts and your voice out there.

Speak up!