The Art of Trying New Things

March 14, 2022
Hadley Kim

One of the first things I promised myself before going to college was that I was going to try new things and step out of my comfort zone. What better time than now to explore all the things I had never had the opportunity to in high school? 

Thus, first-year fall, despite my many reservations about doing so, I tried out for the Princeton Debate Panel. While it was one of the most terrifying things I had ever done, I am grateful to have found some of my closest friends and a tight-knit community that single handedly helped me through my first semester at Princeton. 

I kept (and am keeping) my promise to myself as I entered the second half of my sophomore year. I ended up auditioning for an a cappella group, a decision I made a day before auditions were to take place. My reservations for doing so stemmed from the fact that as much as I enjoyed singing in my free time, I never thought I was good enough to sing in a more structured setting. 

I was saved from making one of the worst mistakes of my Princeton career when one of my friends, after hearing my plight on whether or not I should audition, told me just what I needed to hear. “What’s the worst that could happen? You’re nervous for 15 minutes, maybe embarrass yourself in front of a few people. But the best case scenario? You get ten new friends, and get to do something you enjoy.” The answer then became pretty clear in my head. 

I went, sang in front of a group of people I didn’t know, and left shaking from nerves, but relieved I had gone through with it. That night, I found out that I had been asked back for callbacks, and went to callbacks the day after, where I (still extremely nervous) mingled with members and got to experience what it would be like to sing as part of a group. I left callbacks daydreaming about what it would be like to perform with these amazing collection of singers, and once again, thoroughly glad I had gone. 

Now, I’m a proud member of the Princeton Tigressions, one of the many a cappella groups Princeton has to offer. Each group is unique in their sound, their members and their personalities. The Tigressions are known for a bold sound, and our repertoire ranges from classics such as Moon River and more contemporary arrangements such as When We Were Young. We also go on an international tour during fall break, though a cappella groups on campus mainly sing in one of the many arches on campus. Also unexpectedly, my first performance happened to be at McCarter Theatre in front of a crowd of more than six hundred people. As terrifying as that was, it was one of the most fun (and memorable) moments at Princeton so far. 

So go for it. Try something new.