Pink, orange, purple, pink, purple, orange, purple again, red, orange, yellow, red once more: I have never had a consistent favorite color. It changes all the time, much as my favorite song does, and as my favorite class does. This may sound odd considering I have a pretty sturdy idea of what I want to do in college and after with my career, but my favorite class changes every year. Freshman year I liked Spanish the best. Sophomore year Chemistry had my heart. I liked English most junior year. As a senior, I like learning about world religions and studying perspective in art class.

I wasn’t too big of a fan of the academic classes in school until senior year. I liked choir and performance art more than anything. But smack! That changed in August of 2017. For some reason, all of my classes incorporated color and artistic choices in the curricula- even AP Statistics! And with this sudden addition of a more artistic side of the mind, my grades improved significantly. English has been a struggle for me since middle school because while I like to read, it’s more difficult for me to prioritize it after eight hours of focusing at school and four more at rehearsal. My junior and senior year totally changed how I learned as the homework prompts included writing poetry and drawing or painting. I suddenly put reading more as a hobby than an assignment because I knew I couldn’t create an accurate piece without reading the assigned pages in whatever book we were reading. I had to slow down and really read. Not just do that thing where you read the words, but as soon as you turn the page you have no idea what you just read. No! I actually focused for long enough to read. Low and behold- I loved it!

In fact, the summer before my junior year I decided to go ahead and complete my online class credit instead of taking it during the school year, and with the final project of my study of the Harlem Renaissance, I painted the piece that led me to join GrrlPunch. Oddly enough, I did not know I had any visually artistic capabilities until I worked on my painting that was inspired by Romare Bearden and Beauford Delaney.

In addition to my GPA’s benefit, my overall mood and attitude improved towards schoolwork and attending classes in general. It’s crazy to me that even though I am being assigned something that will probably take me longer to complete, I am happier to be doing the work and I feel like my education is being that much furthered.

I would just like to throw the idea out there that stimulating the creativity in people through what may be more of a work load may just impact students the way it impacted me. I noticed there is some mindset I have like that of completing a jigsaw puzzle or coloring in a coloring book. Let this be a reminder of how valuable creativity and expression are in one’s curricula. I know that often times the arts may be underappreciated, underfunded, and underestimated in schools. If you have any doubt in this theory, I hope my little piece of evidence, though it be small and seemingly insignificant, shows how tremendously crucial exercising the emotive part of the mind is. Who knows? Without this development of events, my life, my choice in career path, my mindset could be quite different than that of what they are now.