It’s 11:47pm and I’m sat between two large males on a full flight, not even halfway through. It’s at this point I begin to wonder, as the cabin lights are dark and the whirl of the planes engines keep me far from sleep, as to why I do this. Why do I put my self through these long, arduous flights. Why spend so much money to come so far? People, and I know I’ve said it 1000 times, and I’ll say it 1000 more, but thats the reason we do anything in life right?
I always struggled with people, being the youngest in my family I didn’t know where to fit in. Never able to sit with the cousins, but too old for the next generation, I became accustomed to sticking next to mum and dad during family events. My social skills, some may say, needed some work.
10 years later High school comes along and I can assure you it’s just as hard to fit in no matter which country you live in. Naturally awkward and bright orange hair doesn’t help anyone disappear in a crowd, it seemed as though I was cursed. So like any solid minded 13 year old I thought i might be less awkward in a whole new place, perhaps the states?
It was at aged 15 that I told my parents, didn’t ask but told, that I was going to fly 11 thousand kilometres to attend a camp where I would know no one. All. By. My. Self. Was I crazy or what? More importantly were my parents crazy for letting me?! None of us had a clue what this 3 week adventure would hold for me, no one knew if I’d even be able to navigate the airport enough to leave the country, but backing yourself will get you a hell of a long way.
11 thousand kilometres from home with a strange accent no one could understand, and still the same awkward ginger kid. I can tell you walking into the arrivals lounge at LAX my nerves were palpable. Coursing through my vains. Then along came Jan, and abnormally tall and manly looking guy for just 16 with an air of confidence around him. Definitely not calming the nerves, but he introduced himself, and just like that I had made a friend.
It gets so much easier from there on out, and with a car packed with gear and kids buzzing with excitement we headed to Costa Mesa to meet the rest of the gang. If you’ve ever been to summer camp you’ll know the first day feelings and if you haven’t then it is truly something you can only know if you’ve experienced it.
4 years later I’m now 18. This morning I finished my last final for my first semester of University and got straight on a plane.
As I packed my bag and my friends from the dorm were leaving to return to their homes and their pets and their families I couldn’t help but feel a tinge on sadness that I wouldn’t see my family, my biological family that is. But my heart swelled when I began to think of seeing the people that helped morph me from that awkward 15 year old ginger, in to who I am now.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that to every new comer attending TCS this year, don’t be scared, we’ve all been there before. You can’t become a second, or third or forth year attendee without being a first year. Everyone at The Collective Sound is there for a reason, the same reason in fact. People with common interests get along without even knowing it. You never know how the people you meet will change your life.