College life forces you to choose. Choose who you make friends with, choose what clubs you join, choose how many shots of espresso you’ll need to write that essay tonight and, oh yeah, choose how you want to spend the rest of your life. For me, the first two came easy. I made friends with the people I saw every day in my classes and in my dorm hallways; I joined organizations that interested me like Women’s Glee choir and other performance groups. And I always get my grande iced soy macchiato at the library to keep my brain working into the dead hours of the morning. But I never stopped struggling with the last choice.
The university was telling me I needed to decide how I ultimately want the rest of my life to look within basically a two-year time-frame.
Overwhelming, right? Yeah, I was ready to explode.
I love music. Over the course of my freshman year, I changed my mind about my major quite a few times. I wanted to be a music therapist, then an opera singer, then an actress. I craved the adrenaline, the sweat, the heat of the spotlight. I learned so much more than I thought was ever possible about the musical theatre craft through a summer program and decided that I would leave FSU to pursue this art form at another school. There she was—my first big girl, risk-taking decision.
I worked my butt off during my gap year, prepping for those auditions in the spring. I breathed, ate and slept song, dance and theatre. And I loved every second. But don’t get the wrong idea. Remember, I left everything I had learned, everyone I had met, every opportunity I got during my freshman year behind. The year did not progress without doubt, tears, struggle, pain and heartbreak. Plainly stated, it was rough. But somehow I persisted.
I applied to five schools. Every auditionee I met along my journey had applied to at least 12. I took a giant risk, got so close, but just fell short of my goal. The fall hurt. I was in pieces for months and honestly am still trying to pick up some loose slivers. I stopped singing, could not even listen to a recording of myself without bursting into the Niagra Falls of tears. I knew I had to keep going. I had to find a new passion, a new direction, a new path to skip down.
My first inclination was to come back to FSU and do what I had done before—a general Music major, because music was all I knew that I loved. I thought it would be a piece of cake. However, my audition did not qualify for re-entry into the College of Music. Crushed once again. After all my hard work over the course of the year that I had dedicated solely to the craft of music, I was told that I still was not good enough. OUCH.
Now I needed to find something else to jump into. I needed to go back to school and get my degree to gain independence and be my own person. I ached for the opportunity to get a job and live on my own. I chose media and communications—random, but nothing I had not tried before. I ran my elementary schools newsroom in the fourth grade and then proceeded to pursue new broadcasting in high school, prior to discovering my love for music.
Still, I was scared diving into a field that I had felt disconnected from for so long. I really had no idea what to expect of my rhetoric or media techniques classes, but I knew they would not include singing and dancing. Even so, I did it, and I found that as long as I dedicated myself to something, no matter what it was, I would find worth in it.
And now I have fallen in love with communications. I am determined and motivated to achieve this degree. It was not easy to take that leap into the unknown, but greatness has certainly come from it. Yes, I will always have other interests and of course, nothing is going to stop me from my pursuit to be versatile. But ultimately, as long as I have my happiness, I am successful.