Creative spaces necessary for crucial student growth

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Creative spaces necessary for crucial student growth

Caledonia Abbey, Reporter

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Lab students pride themselves on professionalism, using the school’s connections to the University of Chicago to bolster our reputation and gain a sense of sophistication. 

But there’s a lot to be gained from placing value in, and supporting institutions and organizations run by other students rather than relying solely on the validation of adults. 

It all comes back to the competitive nature of students at U-High. Instead of seeking opportunities for vicious comparison, we should create a more positive atmosphere of support and creativity.

Countless youth-run organizations throughout Chicago create platforms for social dialogue and the sharing and consumption of art and music.

When we say that Lab is a bubble, we often mean it geographically. But I find that it’s more of a mental one, often getting trapped in the whirlwind that is constant academics, clubs and sports all within the walls of the school.”

Fempowerment, Chicago’s student-led city-wide intersectional feminist organization, holds discussions on women’s and LGBTQ+ issues. The Museum of Contemporary Art’s Teen Creative Agency annually holds a 21-minus event, and the Teen Arts Creative Oasis holds seasonal events that feature young musicians, performers and visual artists.

At Lab, clubs can work together to support common goals of inclusion and community organizing and academic or sports teams can collaborate on outreach projects.

When we say that Lab is a bubble, we often mean it geographically. But I find that it’s more of a mental one, often getting trapped in the whirlwind that is constant academics, clubs and sports all within the walls of the school.

Participating in activities that aren’t just about classes, grades or college apps and instead focus on community can be refreshing step outside of that bubble. 

A recent study conducted by behavioral science expert Patrick Fagan, and a British concert venue O2 concluded that Seeing live music twice a week increases “feelings of health, happiness and wellbeing” by nearly 21%.

It doesn’t have to just be an expensive concert at United Center, though. 

All-ages venues or house shows, art showcases and galleries, and open mics are all great opportunities for this. 

Spaces like these, while they may lack notoriety, are unique in their ability to foster an environment that takes away judgement and competition.

Another key part of events and spaces that are run by-students, for-students, is the opportunity to meet and connect with other artists and students from across the city. Of course not all of us can paint or play instruments, but you don’t have to in order to meet new people, gain experience, engage in discussion, or just have a good time.