Student Blog: Had to Find My Way

How I decided graduating with my Associate's was right for me!

By: May. 26, 2024
Student Blog: Had to Find My Way
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Surprise! I graduated college! Today marks the one week anniversary of me receiving my Associate’s Degree of Arts in Theatre. While finishing with my Associate’s wasn’t something originally on the bingo card of this school year, it’s something I couldn’t be prouder about and more certain is the right choice for me. 

Last year was a really hard year in my personal life, and I remember many moments where I’d tell my mom I was having thoughts about transferring out of my college. While she understood where I was coming from, she suggested I focus on healing myself internally before making the jump. And honestly, thank God for her suggestion. The past year has been filled with so much growth and development I needed as much as a human as an artist, and I’m really happy I chose to stay at the school I was at for the time being. However, despite how much happier and healthier I’d become overall, I was starting to notice my lingering thoughts of transferring were still present. While it was hard to own this for a bit, I had another talk with my mom about it (my God given solution for everything) and decided I was ready to leave. 

Due to the timing of everything, I decided my best option was to finish out my semester and then take a gap year to audition for new schools. So this became my truth! Something I had to slowly break to friends and professors as well as prepare myself for what was next to come. Or at least it was until a conversation I had with my advisor– what about leaving with my Associate’s? It would leave me the option to still go back for my Bachelors at a different school in Fall 2025, but also I would be leaving my school with a degree that could help me find theatre jobs in my gap year. And conveniently enough, I was one credit away from qualifying for it. One quick edit to my schedule and suddenly I was on track to graduate. 

This process has been hard to explain to people– “I’m graduating but I’m still going back!” “I’m getting my degree but not my bachelors!” “I’m transferring but I’m taking a year off first!” While it’s been a hassle to explain to friends and family, I feel confident that this is the right choice for me. Starting this year off, I still planned on staying at my school until 2026 and finishing with my Bachelors. The plan, obviously, has changed drastically since then, but rather than being fearful of not staying on the linear path I anticipated, I feel excited and grateful that the unconventional path best suited found its way to me.

So… I did it! I graduated a week ago and everything still feels new and strange. I keep catching myself in moments of not feeling like a “real graduate” due to “only” having my Associate’s, but I continue to remind myself of the work I’ve put into not only getting my degree, but getting to the point I’m at in general. Being at Dean College has been truly a wild ride of personal and artistic development, and I really come out of it with so much gratitude and affection for the experience. While I’ve come to completion with this first chapter of my professional career, my journey with education and theatre in general is FAR from over, and I can’t wait to begin this new era of independence with my career. 

That being said… we’re on a gap year! I’ll be spending the next 15 months applying for new schools and getting as many experiences with theatre as I can on my own! Hope you’ll stick with me and keep up with my journey through this time, the ride starts now!


 



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