Opinion: My experience with the arts changed me


Rahma Shaikh

“Forever, Interrupted” by Taylor Jenkins Reid, “Most of All You” by Mia Sheridan, “Normal People” by Sally Rooney, “You Deserve Each Other” by Sarah Hogle and “The Secret History” by Donna Tartt are books that captivated me. Over the years, I’ve dove into multiple genres of art, and have grown a love for older models of cameras.

During my childhood, I was never passionate about anything. I couldn’t decide what I gravitated toward and I struggled to find motivation to pursue a specific career. I tried out reading, and from then on, I dove into different types of art; I found comfort in writing, reading, photography and film. I began to value the depth and various interpretations that could be pulled from a single piece.

When I became a reader, annotating books helped me look for specific details, and made reading not just about reading words on a page anymore. I cherished pieces of literature more, my vocabulary grew and I started to observe language. I developed a sense of how much words can impact people, and began to love telling and reading stories. 

My passion for writing grew into a desire as a career. I began to love creating stories from nothing and I grew a habit of writing down ideas whenever they came to me. Writing has become my creative outlet and largely contributed to how much I’ve grown both creatively and as a person.

Photography and film were hobbies I became invested in after immersing myself in film photography in early 2022. I gravitated toward using older cameras because it felt different compared to digital ones. I discovered Super 8 film and became interested in the emotion that can be captured; film feels as if you’re actually in the moment, and it appears more genuine. After educating myself about film and photography, I gained a love for movies and cinematography in general. I found a love of directing, and am eager to see it as another career path for myself in the future; I can see the dreams I have come to life.

Art has changed my perspective on life and how I think. I’m now more of a visual person, I’m observant and I’m much more passionate. I have grown into my true personality, and art has made me feel secure with myself. I’m more of an articulate person, and my depth of thought grew. These hobbies developed into something more and I can see myself creating longtime careers out of this.