What Expression Means To You: a compilation of reflections

When we asked UHS students the multifaceted question “What Does Expression Mean To You?” this is how a few answered:

“When I think of expressions, my mind immediately goes to emotions, art and actions. Expression is how people act and what emotions they pour into what they do. It is important to express yourself in order to communicate with other people and share what you are actually feeling so there is a mutual understanding between you and those around you. I find that I can best express myself through my art in Ceramics.”
– Emilio Lee, 10

“I think expressions means to just show people who you are whether it is through music, the way you dress or how you act. Expressions is who you want to be and how you want to perceive yourself as an individual. I personally find my outlet for self-expression through the way I dress and the music I listen to.”
-Amanda Cesario, 9

“I’m personally not very good at expressing myself, but I love listening to music based on the mood I’m in because I always feel like songs are able to say exactly how I feel in a more artistic way.”
-Yasmine Choroomi12

“Expression is the way you think and see those around you-it’s what and who you are. I found I best express myself through my feelings and the way I talk to people around me.”
-Nayeel Shivapur, 9

“I have never had a problem speaking my mind because, from a young age, expression was praised in my family. My siblings and I were always encouraged to create art and ask questions about the world around us.
I love theater because it represents an oral tradition that has existed for all of human history. I have always loved telling stories. I love singing folk music because the songs are always narrative. I love comedy sportz because it reminds how to create stories off the top of my head like we do when we are little. I love plays and musicals because I get to tell a story to an audience as a completely new person with a different voice and a different personality. Basically, I love how throughout history, people have always gotten satisfaction from telling a story and playing pretend in front of an audience. Remembering that helps ground and connect me to the past. This very oral tradition makes me believe that I have a purpose in the world.”
-Corinne Alsop, 11

“Self expression is so important. Thinking about it now, I am so grateful for the many ways I am able to express myself daily. Whenever I feel overwhelmed with school or my thoughts, going to a dance class, listening to music, or simply compiling my thoughts through writing calms me down. Self expression allows me to remember to slow down and celebrate the present.  I feel that having a voice is important because everyone has something important to say, we should all be able to recognize and acknowledge that. “
-Claudia Kigesa, 11

“Expression is a way to show people who you are. Art is the way I express myself, through colors and patterns you can see my emotions and feelings. It’s as if you talk without words. A picture is worth a thousand words, the emotions you feel when you look at my art is what I feel when I do it, it’s a connection made with invisible strings, and it’s beautiful.”
-Dilruba Asici, 10

“Especially now with stress and anxiety regarding school and the future, different ways of self expressions such as dancing, singing, painting, can be so helpful in allowing to release all the tension inside of us. Personally, dance has helped me express all my emotions and thoughts through motion; I remember coming out of a class just crying because of how stressed out I was and then walking into the studio for rehearsal.  After only 10 minutes of expressing that frustration onto the dance floor, I could finally breathe and think clearly.  Expression through art has helped me become who I am today. “

-Shivani Lamba, 11

“No one should be ashamed of who they are and what they like and support, as long as it’s not something that hurts other people. Going to a school where there are so many different kinds of people, anywhere from male to female, from white to black, from Republican to Democratic, straight to gay, I’ve learned so much just by hearing the opinions of other people. If they weren’t allowed to express themselves, I wouldn’t have gained the knowledge and wisdom I have now. However you express yourself, whether it be through something as simple as the way you style your hair or to something like music or poetry, it’s important that you don’t shy away from it because you may not realize it, but it slowly shapes the character of those who hear, see or read it and gives them confidence to voice what they believe, too.”
-Adri Bozaich, 11

“I believe expression is knowing who you are and being able to proudly show it. I express myself all the time. I mean, I’m pretty much the most extroverted person you could ever meet. You gotta love and express who you are.”
-Ibrahem Dalati, 12

“What expression means to me is being yourself and not being ‘normal.’ Self expressions is doing what makes you happy and being proud of it. Without self expression I would be a Uni student stereotype where I take my classes to get into a Uni defined ‘good school’ and get a good paying job. With self expression I have been a part of movements that have enjoyed and shaped me into someone I am proud of such as Uni’s Filmmaking crew or my Jewish USY group.
It is important to have a voice because without a voice you are ‘normal’ and you can’t be ‘normal’- you have to be yourself.”
-Brandon Kaufman, 11

“When I think of expression, the first thing that comes to my mind is probably enthusiasm or at least an enthusiastic person. To express myself would translate to opening up and sharing my opinions or how I feel.”
-Alexander Hu, 10

“To me, expression means self-discovery, self-improvement, and self-love. Self-expression is the ability to show your inner thoughts and feelings through mediums that extend beyond the realm of normality, allowing individuals to find themselves via experiences that surpass any normal course of action. When an individual looks beyond the superficiality of their own façade, they are able to find who they truly are. Many forms of self-expression force an individual to push beyond the boundaries of typical daily encounters. Without self-expression, life would be dull, superficial, and materialistic. Expression allows people to detach themselves from materialistic values and focus on the more powerful emotions and feelings that cannot be bought.
Self-expression is what others can feel about you through a deeper form of communication; one that does not require direct statements or actions, but rather interpretations and feelings.”

-Jaimee Hocker, 11

“It’s all about writing something you can be quoted on. Little blurbs of poetic advice that you could send to a friend about their relationships that make you seem like their mom. I’m a cool mom.”
-Grace Shu, 9

“To me, expression and the way you present your voice is one of the most important things. There are over 7 billion people on earth, and how you choose to express yourself is how you can define yourself. The way you present yourself and express yourself makes you unique, and creates your reality. Your voice, no matter what form it is in, can pierce through all the uncertainty, stress, and confusion in life. Personally, I express my opinions, beliefs, and passions the strongest through speech, whether it to be large groups or one on one. But to me, the ability to appreciate and reflect upon the self expression of others is just as important as the way you express your own inner voice. Viewing visual self-expression can allow you to step into the shoes of someone else who may have a different viewpoint than you, allowing you to see things in a different way than you normally would. Learning from the ways other people express their inner opinions, beliefs, and passions to me is a deeply important and profound experience, and it allows us to grow and learn.”
-Aidan Arasasingham, 11

“Performing music, writing poetry, or even just coming up with stories really allows me to grasp the concept of perspective or someone else’s personality. I feel like it really relaxes me and serves as a distraction from my own life. I’ve heard that when you play music written by Beethoven, it’s not about you anymore, it’s about Beethoven and what he wanted to represent.”
-Joshua Zhou, 9

“I hate when people can’t express an opinion without them getting so much backlash for it–it should never happen like that. But there are always haters and you just can’t let them get to you. We always get so judged for having a voice and it’s very unfair, but that shouldn’t stop us from having one. “
-Neha Krishnam, 11

(Marino 2016)