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Own your voice

If you find it difficult to speak up, you’re not alone, says Alexis in Year 11. Even if you feel your ideas aren’t worthy or you will be judged, you can get better by changing your mindset.

It hasn’t even been six weeks since I was pacing around my room, trying not to cry, and barking words of affirmation in my mirror as I got ready for my regular Friday Debating.

The thing is, I love public speaking, I am a debater, I always participate in discussion, and I don’t shy away from advocating for the issues I care about. You could even say that I love the sound of my own voice – notwithstanding just how terrifying and how difficult it can be to use your voice! And from observing the people around me, I have come to realise that this is a universal experience.

Today, I want you to feel empowered to use your voice, so you can ask for help, share who you are and speak up for things that concern you.

The first way to do this is by taking baby steps in small social environments. A classroom is a perfect example. Recently, I had a conversation with someone about asking for help. Afterwards, she said she felt more confident in her abilities and answers. From, this please understand that asking for help is something we should all aim to do, even when we think our questions are dumb or we feel judged. At the end of the day, you can’t control what others think of you, so own your questions and ask for help!

Next, share your story. Let me inspire you by sharing my story. Hi, my name is Lexi. I am a Scorpio. I love my dog and something that has always defined my story is my diverse background. I am lucky to be American, Australian, Austrian, and Filipino, and – although it is has taken me a while – to be confident in my identity. I can now say, that through sharing my voice with my friends, my peers, and the broader community, I have found confidence in who I am. And you should too because we all have a story to share.

Finally, be confident to speak up about what you care about. Over the past term, I have had the amazing opportunity to hear from girls throughout the entire School, and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate hearing them speak up for what they believe in. I understand it can be intimidating, but as an older girl, I can say that we love to hear what you have to say.

At the end of the day, you all have a voice, and believe me when I say it is of value, so give yourself permission to use it.

To go back to my Debating anecdote, after being absolutely terrified to speak, we ended up winning the grand finals, so take the leap and own your voice!

Own your voice2

Alexis (Year 11)