Student Blog: Being a Freshman in College... Spring Semester Edition

Hi readers! This is a breakdown of the classes I've been taking this semester, some insight on why I chose to take these classes, and how I've grown so far.

By: Mar. 19, 2024
Student Blog: Being a Freshman in College... Spring Semester Edition
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​Hello readers! Sorry I've been away for a while. I'm back to update you on how my second semester as a freshman Theatre Performance major at Wagner College is going. First of all, I lowkey can't believe I'm well on my way to being done with my first year of college! Wagner ends classes in early-mid May so there's really only 2 months left of classes for me (probably a little less time left than that, if we're getting specific). I'm so excited to take in these next few weeks and hopefully experience some nice spring weather here in New York. To celebrate, here's a peek into what I've been doing since coming back from winter break and some insight about what the life of a second semester college freshman in Wagner's theatre program looks like. 

My Classes: This Semester vs. Last Semester

This semester I had more freedom to select my class schedule according to my personal goals. Last semester, my schedule was much more regimented and basically decided for me according to the school and my major's curriculum. Although I was able to add some classes I wanted to take into my schedule after arriving at school during fall semester, I was placed in most of my other classes over the summer before moving in. I'm sure this is a universal experience for first semester freshmen at other schools as well. This semester, however, I chose all of my classes which was a fun moment for me. Obviously, there were guidelines about what I could and could not take according to my major, grade level, etc. but most of the selection was pretty much up to me. Since I am a Theatre major pursuing a BA at a liberal arts college, most of my peers' schedules are a mix of academic and performance classes but sometimes one outweighs the other on a person's schedule. This semester, I made a schedule that is mostly filled with artistic classes. My course list is as follows:

  • Musicianship for the Performer (required music theory)
  • Dance Pedagogy I
  • Ballet
  • Musical Theatre Dance
  • Excel for the Business Professional
  • Acting Techniques 2: Scene Study
  • Private Voice Lessons
  • Performance Hour 

You may be wondering, why are there so many? Can't you only take a certain amount of credits per semester? Yes, but some of my classes are labs meaning that they don't equate to a numerical credit so I can take as many of those as I want in addition to my accredited classes. My acting class, music theory class, musical theatre dance class, and voice lessons were all required for me to take this semester. Everything else I added into my schedule to pursue personal goals and explore my different options of study. For example, at the beginning of the semester, I was debating whether or not I wanted to do a dance minor so I took Dance Pedagogy I because it is a requirement of the minor. Same with my Excel class, it is a requirement of the major Arts Administration, which I was interested in possibly pursuing as a double major to my Theatre Performance major. Honestly, the jury is still out on my pursuit of both this minor and/or the double major but I'm glad I gave myself the chance to explore this semester. I think it's important to weigh your options during your second semester of freshman year if you are interested in possibilities such as a double major, a minor, for some a major change, etc. because that way you get a head start on these things before it is too late. I'm sure by the end of this semester I'll have a clearer picture of what I want to do with these ideas but at least I have a head start on them. Honestly, I wish I took more academic classes this semester to balance out my performance workload a little more. Of course, this problem is easily fixable for next semester but I think I realized just how much I appreciate having academic classes to get my mind off of the stress that performing/an arts major can sometimes bring up. 

Personal Highlights (and what's coming up!)

So, this semester has definitely had its rocky moments. However, I did have some pretty incredible experiences so far. For instance, I was involved in a student-run production of A Feminine Ending that ended a couple of weeks ago, a play written by Sarah Treem, and I played the lead role of Amanda Blue. It was such an awesome experience. I've never had a role of that size before and this was also only the second straight play I've ever been in. Being in this show made me realize how much acting means to me and how much more I want to explore acting in plays throughout my time in college. I feel like I realized that if you can't act, you can't do the rest of it (singing, dancing, etc.) authentically. I was always a musical theatre kid but this experience changed me so much, for the better I think. I'm really glad I got the chance to grow from it as an actor and person because it was a really important story to tell. Overall, I love student-run theatre at Wagner! If any of my readers are considering coming to Wagner for theatre, I definitely think the student-run clubs are such a highlight, especially for freshmen. I've had the privilege of being involved in two great student-run opportunities since being here which has been super wonderful. Next, I'll be completing a tech assignment for the Wagner Main Stage's production of Seussical running this spring. I'm excited to do that with my friends this semester! For more info on Wagner's shows, go to: ​ (lol not an ad, just a shameless plug). For updates on student-run theatre at Wag, follow @wagnercsp and @wagnersrmt on Instagram. 

Student Blog: Being a Freshman in College... Spring Semester Edition
Me in A Feminine Ending produced by Wagner CSP! (pic by Tala Kelmzer; directed by Phia Smith and Tait Eddington.

How I've Grown So Far

This semester, I think I've learned that A) It really is ok to prioritize yourself and more people may understand what you're going through than you think. B) It's important to not go through the motions: decide on your goals and stick to them. Don't just show up to your classes/engagements repeatedly without a goal to aim for (I'm trying to work on this right now). C) With that in mind, set one goal at a time. Better to try something and achieve it than try a million things at the same time and master none of them. D) It's ok to not know everything about your future. No one does. No matter how hard you plan, things can always change and that kind of unknown is what college is for. 

That's all for now. Thanks for reading and more will be posted soon!

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