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Gaining Confidence on Stage

Namitha standing on stage singing for a crowd
Namitha performing on stage at the school festival

By Namitha, YES Abroad 2022-2023, Indonesia

My host school in Bandung, Indonesia hosted a fun festival consisting of two parts: a cooking competition and a talent show/competition. Teams were divided by several different classes within the high school. For the cooking competition, my class made taiyaki, a type of fish-shaped cake, and butterfly pea tea. It took us a considerable amount of time to figure out the batter and packaging for the taiyaki. Once we were finished, we were excited about our submission. Fortunately, the judges agreed, and we were awarded fifth place for the food competition portion of the festival!

A hand holding a bottle of purple butterfly pea tea
The butterfly pea tea Namitha’s class made for the food competition portion of the festival

Next came the talent competition. Each class elected a representative to present and demonstrate a talent. The top ten video talent submissions would perform live on stage in front of the school. My classmates asked me if I could sing, which I can! At the time, I didn’t know they would be signing me up to go on stage as the class representative for the talent competition. In the past, I have been known to get very nervous on stage, so I was quite scared about repeating history. After submitting my video the judges advanced me to the live portion of the competition. The stakes were growing even higher and so were my nerves!

I was asked to introduce myself at the start of my performance, which I did in Indonesian, insecurities aside. I started feeling so much better once I started singing! My nerves started to dissipate thanks to my classmates joining me for the sing-along portions, and I began to feel much braver. In the end, I found this solo live performance quite enjoyable.

I was so thankful to have said “yes” when asked about my ability to sing. I would have missed what became such a great opportunity if I had been too nervous to admit my skills. I am so proud of myself for taking the initiative to work hard and overcome my fear of even just talking on stage. I am also incredibly grateful for the love and support of my fellow classmates --it felt so good to watch them smile at me as I introduced myself in Indonesian and sang. Participating in this festival and performing solo was a huge personal growth step for me!

A plate of taiyaki, a fish shaped pastry filled with red bean paste
The taiyaki Namitha’s class made for the food competition portion of the festival