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BWW Blog: New Semester, New Me!

As they say in Hamilton: “I am not throwing away my shot!”

BWW Blog: New Semester, New Me!

When I initially began my Musical Theatre training in the Fall of 2019 at Long Island University Post, I never imagined that my education would be impacted by such a large global crisis. However, here I am quarantined in my small hotel room, reflecting on the past year as I head into the Spring Semester of sophomore year.

If you would have told me a year ago that I was about to enter a pandemic that would impact my entire life, I would have laughed in your face. When we initially got the email that we would be going online last year for the remainder of the Spring semester, I was scared for what the future would hold. I am a very hands-on learner, so online learning seemed very daunting at first. While it was/is difficult at times, I have learned that it is not impossible. It is definitely hard to stay motivated in school and connected to my social life at times, but I am doing my best to power through.

At LIU Post, we are currently doing an in-person/hybrid model for the Theatre department. My dance, acting, and theatre history classes are in-person, while my voice lessons and Voice and Speech class continue to take place over Zoom- given the circumstances and requirements surrounding these particular classes. Wearing a mask for hours at a time every day while dancing and acting isn't the most fun thing in the world, but I am exceedingly grateful that I can continue learning while being safe during the pandemic. The fall semester, while rocky at times, was definitely one for the books and it feels amazing to regain a sense of normalcy in such a crazy and unknown time.

Being from the sunny state of Florida, I am required to undergo a mandated quarantine before the spring semester begins. I am very thankful to my school for providing a nice hotel room and daily meals while I wait to be approved to safely return to the dorms. Between watching Netflix, getting ahead on the required readings for my acting class, painting my Van Gogh "Paint-by-numbers", and eating snacks, I have had a lot of time to think about the upcoming school semester and what I want to achieve and keep in mind.

So, normally with the new year comes new year resolutions followed by the popular saying: "New Year, New Me!". While it can sometimes be harmful to set lofty goals that are unachievable, I have decided to start my semester with new mindsets and goals so that I can make the most out of my time here. These resolutions will be more generalized and relaxed, as I would rather not set impossible standards and expectations for the year- as life is so unexpected and constantly shifting! Like a piece of art, I have determined that these resolutions will be a living, breathing documentation of what I would like to keep in mind as I continue my education. These resolutions will be more like helpful reminders and tips in order to help make my spring semester the best it can be!

Here are a few of my Spring Semester "Resolutions":

1. Stop taking things for granted.

I will admit, I am guilty of taking things for granted. I forget that things are not promised to me and that anything is possible in the grand scheme of life. Life is short and I have to remember to live in the moment as much as possible. Before the pandemic began, I remember taking many things for granted, like school, hanging out with friends and family, and going into the city on

weekends. This semester, I want to work on being grateful for everything in my life and no longer taking things and experiences for granted.

2. Take care of yourself physically and mentally.

We're in a pandemic! And if that weren't stressful enough, we are still students in school, some of us taking 18 credits worth of classes in addition to extracurriculars and social activities. While staying focused and doing the work is important, it is also important to remember to take a break. Stay active mentally and physically, but don't forget to stay within your limits. Don't push yourself off the edge. Find times to practice self care! Take the time to do that face mask and watch that episode of the Bachelor! (You deserve it!)

3. Do your best to stay positive in challenging circumstances.

As Charlie Bucket says in Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka the Musical, "Think Positive!". Don't let the negativity in life weigh you down! Times can be tough and things may get hard, but if you can keep a positive outlook then anything is possible! Do your best to practice positivity in every aspect of your journey through life.

4. Remember why you are doing theatre and find daily joys in your craft. Whether it be listening to a new cast album, creating my own theatre, playing guitar, or diving head first into a theatre assignment for class, I want to find joy and excitement in my work. It is fairly easy to get caught up in things like grades, due dates, assignments while working towards a theatre degree- but I want to remind myself this semester why I love theatre and why I do it. While it is of course a career path, it is also still my passion and joy.

5. Breathe!

BREATHE! BREATHE! BREATHE! I know it seems like a self-explanatory thing to do, but you'd be surprised how often one forgets to breathe. BREATHE!

6. Don't procrastinate!

I am SO guilty of this. It is so easy to think that there is time later in the day to do something. However, the longer you wait, the less time you have! This semester is the time to stop leaving things for the last minute and do them now! The faster you finish an assignment, a hard workout, a difficult online dance class, or even a chore around the house or dorm, then the faster you can move onto your next goal or take some much needed relaxation time for yourself. Maybe try creating a daily list of things you want to accomplish or plan out fun rewards for yourself after you finish tough assignments.

7. Have fun!

Live in the moment! Take that extra dance class for fun. Sing that Broadway song at the top of your lungs. Go on fun adventures. Make new friends. Try out that new local coffee shop that you have been dying to visit. Post that embarrassing Tik Tok video. Because why not? The only person stopping you from having fun and living your best life is yourself. Take a chance, take a risk, be bold. Don't be afraid to live in the moment!

I am super excited to begin this semester and get back to work! I am also thrilled to be writing for BroadwayWorld! I wish everyone the best of luck as we all head into this spring- whether it be of school, work, or just life in general. You are all amazing and I can't wait to see what this year has in store for us.

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