Why you shouldn’t be afraid to go for it

As a sufferer of anxiety disorders, participating in new experiences can be scary and daunting.

In 2013 I took the plunge and applied to be a part of the wardrobe team for my school’s Rock Challenge® entry for the 2014 tour. I had heard about the experience from my friends who had been competing for years and it sounded like a lot of fun. I luckily got a position and the team started work on drawing up costume and make up ideas for our piece. This was great fun and I got to meet students from different years at the school, taking measurements to order and creating costumes.

February 2014 came around, along with my first ever Rock Challenge® event in Stevenage. I was able to mask my fear among my team mates but I was afraid. What would the day bring? How does the competition work?
We arrived at the venue and as part of the backstage team, we unloaded the van with our set inside. Immediately I felt at ease as friendly members of the Rock Challenge® team gave us clear instructions as to what to do. After a morning of unpacking make up and costume, the morning production meeting came around. This was the event I was most anxious about because of the loud music and crowds of people. However I had no need to be so anxious. There are options to stand at the back of the meeting, plus the music isn’t too loud and the information given by the team is presented in a humorous way to make you feel like part of a Rock Challenge® family. Also, everyone from your own team and other schools look out for each other during the whole event beginning to end.

Armed with information about the day ahead, the day zoomed by due to the excitement and fun I was having and soon it was time for our performance after an evening of painting make up on a cast of around 60 people.

My first Rock Challenge® experience, despite being initially daunting, is the thing I am most proud of. I took the plunge and applied for the team and Rock Challenge® has changed my life in many ways. It has shown me not to be afraid of the unknown as people are extremely friendly and understanding and you may be missing out on something you will love.

After my first experience, my school went on to the Southern Premier Finals, and I became Head of Wardrobe for our schools next entry. I then applied to be a Rock Challenge® volunteer, standing on the stage and dancing despite this being the thing I used to be so scared of!

Rock Challenge® has allowed me to grow in confidence, and really is open to anyone and everyone. Don’t be afraid to take part, and certainly don’t be afraid to follow your dreams!

Emily Dimino

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