I can influence people with my words and, I hope, to make their lives better

My name is Sofia, I am 17 years old and I have just finished high school. I am interested in the world of visual and performing arts, where I would like to be a leader of the next generation of artists. I am going to start studying Art Direction and Drama.


When do you like to work in a group?

I like to work in a team when I have some influence in decision-making within the group. Also when people do not take advantage of the work of others and when the work is equitable, in workloads and so on. I also like to work in a team when the interest of the work is similar to mine.

What does working in a group gives you?

It helps me to develop my capacity for empathy, to value the capacity of others and to accept different points of view. Taking you out of your own perception and being able to improve or worsen the final result, where the important thing is to grow and that everyone likes it.

What are you guided by when creating a group?

People with whom you have affinity, things in common, who value you as a person and who are interested in you. Putting aside your own interests or points of view.

“Know when you fit in or that these people make you fit in and feel that you have found a safe place in them. On a professional level, they have to be people you trust, people who value your abilities and with whom you believe you can get along well enough to bring something to fruition. It doesn’t matter how well you get along, but that you trust their talents to perform the job well or in the best way possible.”



In what kind of situations do you like help/tips from others?

When I can’t cope with some situations, especially in unfamiliar areas. For example, in the organization of time in studies or aspects that I do not know. I do not hesitate to ask for help, if someone can offer it to me. 
I usually surround myself with people who support me when I need them or can look for me when they need me. A nice way to complement each other.

Who do you talk to when you need help?

Normally, I usually turn to my closest circle of friends or people I know care about me. People who are there for me when I need them. My best friend’s mother is a psychologist and is also always willing to help and care about me.

When is it hard and when is it easy to help other people?

It is difficult to ask for help when you think you are going to be judged for the question you are asking.  For example, when I had a date with someone a little older than me, I didn’t know who to turn to for fear that they might reproach me. There are situations in which my circle of trust cannot advise me, because they don’t know how to deal with them either. Making it difficult to manage how they are going to receive that call for help. 

It is easy when you have experience in the situation you are advising on. It is not the same to try to make assumptions about dilemmas you are facing as it is to have previously experienced them. Being able to advise on what you have already experienced is easier.

“When you are helping someone and you have to advise without knowing exactly the whole context, it is also difficult because the responsibility you may have on the other person is greater and may affect him or her.”


How do you feel when you are asking for help? Why?

When I ask for help, I usually feel respected by the people who listen to me, because I feel that the other person could be in the same situation. I seek to respect in the same way without judgment. If it is a strong, controversial topic or one that could have a negative reaction, it generates uneasiness in me but I am never afraid to ask for help.


Who is your role model?

One of my references is Lin-Manuel Miranda, an American composer, lyricist, singer, playwright and producer. The son of South American immigrants, he completely revolutionized musical theater on Broadway, with his original works that break with the traditional, greatly expanding the cultural panorama of the city.

Why is this person/character important to you?

It is of utmost importance to me, as he created several theater performances that awakened in me an interest in art and music. He even made me find my vocation. The first time I saw performances of Hamilton or films like “In the Heights” (which has now been made into a movie), I fell in love with the stages and wanted to become a playwright and composer. Miranda is a role model and inspires me to continue towards my goals.

Tell me what is the last thing that resulted well in your life?

My latest achievements have been obtaining good grades in high school and also in the university entrance exams (PAU). After weeks of study, I have managed to get a score of 13/14 points, which may allow me to apply for scholarships in the future. 

On a personal note: a few days ago, I had a theater class in which I did my best and got good results. My teachers confessed to me that they were happy with me and I felt that my effort was paying off, one more small step towards my dream. 

The last notable bad experience I had was a few weeks ago when the school term ended and we had our high school graduation. I had been directing a play, for ten students, where we were all very excited to perform my play for graduation. We worked long hours in rehearsals, despite having to spend time studying and still got a decent result. The head of studies wanted to cancel it a week before because he felt it was too much hassle, breaking the promise he had made to be the first day I told him about the show.

Also, yesterday my brother and I went out for the evening with some friends of his. I was sad that none of my friends could join me, but I tried to be positive and showed up in their group. I booked a venue that turned out to be way out of the budget they had in mind, so we were left at the door after walking two hours to get there. It was very frustrating and I felt like I wasted my night.

What do you find out about yourself when you make mistakes?

I tend to get frustrated easily, especially when I make the same mistake several times. When I am doing something and I don’t think about the result, unfortunately, I am very strict with myself so I don’t give myself a margin of error and my disappointments are more common.

How do you feel when you don’t know something/you make a mistake?

I usually feel awful when I don’t have the correct answer to something I’m very into. I feel helpless and disappointed with myself, so I find it hard to have an optimistic outlook again.

Do you think about trying again after that first negative reaction?

No, I feel totally blocked. Unconsciously, I keep in mind the last bad experience when I want to make another attempt, so the memories that remind me how I failed chase me and avoid any kind of positive attitude.

What do these kinds of feelings/moments bring you?

Firstly, a lot of frustration, sadness and impotence, but, after some time, it becomes a reference to achieve new improvements and keep growing.


Could you point out people, your abilities and skills, talents and achievements, all issues that make you feel safe and comfortable when you need to deal with something new or unknown?  

When I have to face new challenges, I don’t usually like keeping an attitude based on arrogance, so I don’t feel comfortable talking about my achievements in front of people because I think it creates expectations about a situation that could be different to what I’ve experimented before. To avoid future frustrations and trying to be as humble as possible, I would be realistic from the start, commenting just general positive values like my sense of responsibility, ability to focus and creativity.

To be honest, I also believe that this kind of long and “heavy” presentations create a distance between mates, which would make me be seen as a big-headed person hiding behind a bunch of titles or assumptions. I would simply say that I’m always looking forward to doing my best.

What do you think is your strengths? What are you good at?

I think I’m good at writing, directing, creating music (writing lyrics, composing, using audio software or DAWs, singing and playing instruments), drawing and almost everything involving creativity. I can focus easily and I take my work seriously, but always trying to make everyone feel comfortable when I have to deal with other people.

When do you use your strengths?

I’m able to use them when I’m working on my artistic projects, which I do daily.

What kind of results do you get from that?

I see my ideas becoming a reality, a creation in which people can also be included to give their best and, to be honest, that’s the best feeling I’ve ever experienced.


When do you like solving problems?

When the problem is not mine and I’m just giving advising to solve a situation that doesn’t affect me directly. I think that’s the best way to be focused on the solution without the pressure of being possibly injured by the decision. When it comes to my own problems, I prefer to solve the ones that involve my projects because that’s basically what a director must assume.

Do you have a strategy in facing everyday issues or solving bigger, longer-term sort of problems?

I apply my strategy for all sorts of problems, no matter the dimensions. My best friend told me once a quote that I always keep in mind to avoid getting stressed when I’m facing a difficult situation: nothing matters that much. It must sound simple, but it changed my life because I’ve always worried too much and I used to be anxious not a long time ago. One day we were going home after school and I was crying, I don’t remember why. Natalia spent all the walk trying to make me feel better, but nothing seemed to work till she said those words. I believe that the biggest problem is always our way of thinking and I’m glad Natalia changed mine. 

In what kind of situations do you agree/disagree with others (peers, parents, politicians, teachers etc.)?

I usually disagree on almost every subject with my mother because I feel like we are opposite living beings. Mainly when it comes to politics, I tend to be open-minded, but I always try to base my opinion on facts and critical analysis, so I disagree with people who call themselves supporters but are not able to keep a debate because they don’t know what they’re supporting.

When do you feel that You or others are right? How does that make you feel?

I feel that I’m right when the reasons I’m giving can be valid according to universal rights and to my sense of what’s fair or not. It can sound pretty subjective said that way, because everyone who has an opinion believes that opinion is valid, but I think that the difference remains in the way you express yourself, the facts you mention and the way it can affect other people. When I’m right I feel empowered and I see things clearly, so I try to share my thoughts and spread my opinion to make a better world.

How do you differentiate facts from opinions?

Facts can’t be subjective. It’s like a number: 5 will always be 5. Some people would try to make you believe that a 5 is not a 5 because they “think” it looks like an S. Opinions can be different (S, 6, K), but facts will always be facts (5).

How would you rate your ability to break an issue into smaller pieces?

I consider I’m pretty good at that kind of analytical task because I like focusing on details, so, from 0 to 10, I would say it could be rated with an 8.5 or 9.

How would you rate your ability to see something on a broader scale/in a bigger picture?

I do that frequently when it comes to big projects, but also when I have to take decisions that could affect lots of people, so I’m used to it. Probably a 9 out of 10.


What is responsibility?

Responsibility is what you experiment when you feel the weight of an obligation over your shoulders. It may not be compulsory, but you develop a similar sensation to remind you that it cares and that now it’s a priority.

What do you feel responsible for?

I feel responsible for every single one of my friends when they are participating in one of my projects. I feel the need to make people feel comfortable in the environment I create because I know it will determine the final results. I also believe that I have a great impact on my friend’s mental health, so I try to make them happy as long as I can.

Who makes decisions about changes in your life?

Now I do. I have influences, of course, but I’m glad I feel independent enough to take my own decisions.

When are you able to firmly say NO and choose your own path?

When it comes to my projects and now that I have people who support me and fund me. 

What is it that you have an ability to influence?/ Do you have control over the course of your own life?

I feel like I do, I can influence people with my words and, I hope, to make their lives better. On the other hand, I used to be constantly controlled and influenced by part of my family, mainly because of my economic dependence, but now I’ve learned that I don’t owe my life to anybody, which has made me grow in my direction. I’m more independent each day and I’m excited to start a new life this year, far away from the place that I used to call my house but could never be my home. I own my faith and it’s the first time I’m feeling this way.

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