BWW BLOG: My Big and Small Goals for 2021

Tips to Help You Navigate Your Collegiate Journey

By: Jan. 18, 2021

BWW BLOG: My Big and Small Goals for 2021

After making it through the nightmare of a year that was 2020, I, like many others, have set my sights on crafting a prosperous and successful new year. Whether you're currently in a college hybrid/online program or applying to enter college as a freshman in the fall, it's never too early, or too late to create a path that will guide you in accomplishing your objectives.

I'm a Music Theater major at Oklahoma City University, and as I now enter the final semester of my senior year, goal setting is particularly important for my rapidly approaching, albeit terrifying, transition into adult life. What follows is not just a string of "easy to reach resolutions for 2021," but rather, a list of goals realistically designed to result in self-growth and long-term success.

Encompassing both big and small goals, inclusive of performance, as well as non-performance based ambitions, here they are (in no particular order):

1. Stop living on social media:

Perhaps it was my recent viewing of "The Social Dilemma" on Netflix that finally pushed me over the edge, but I have been desperately seeking a reason to break my addiction to social media. Pandemic-induced personal isolation has undeniably played a huge role in our craving for social interaction, however, social media addiction does not come without consequence. I'm not going to delve too deeply into the harm that social media can do to your physical, mental and emotional well-being, but I can definitely tell you that deleting these apps from your phone will improve the quality of your life. Go watch "The Social Dilemma."

2. Apply for admission to a Graduate school program:

Many, MANY people in my age group have been absolutely dumbfounded by the pandemic. Particularly in the world of performance, our livelihood has been put on pause in an effort to keep people safe (rightfully so). Obviously, theatre will be back eventually, but its absence has left countless twenty-somethings like myself with the dreaded question of "what now?"

My "what now" is to pursue a Master of Arts Degree in Nonprofit Leadership/Arts Administration. I've applied to the program at Oklahoma City University in hopes to attend while I stay and work in OKC for a year post-graduation. I'll write about this more if I get in...

Additional education can only help you in the long run. With 2021 beginning the same way that 2020 dreadfully ended, the outlook for the upcoming months is nothing less than uncertain. Job acquisition is not a guarantee in any industry at this time, even with a college degree. Although it can be a big decision, continuing education sequentially is often easier than rejoining the academic ranks after a few years in the work force.

3. Create a professional website:

Despite my goal to stay off social media, my profession demands visibility and accessibility. As many music theatre students do, I'm going to build a website and create an online portfolio for myself. This is a key component in connecting with future employers. Having a legitimate online presence is something I've looked forward to for many years, and I'm excited to establish a polished website to enhance and market my brand.

4. Keep up with my flexibility (literally and figuratively):

As we all know, the theatre industry demands flexibility from artists. Whether this means being a triple threat, playing an instrument, or doing dialect work, it is important to make yourself marketable by perfecting the nuances that make you unique. I've been physically stretching everyday to expand my mind and body, and also practicing guitar daily in an effort to become a more well-rounded performer. Soon I will be exiting my performance-based education system, which means that all of my growth as an artist will need to come from within, not from outside forces or as an academic requirement.

5. Keep living light/have a low-buy year.

I don't talk about this often on this platform, but I enjoy living low waste and pursuing a minimalist lifestyle. This means I utilize reusables, abstain from fast fashion/impulse buying and find joy in the things I already own. The pandemic was not great for a lot of minimalists, and for me specifically, it led to some impulse purchases that I could have lived without (I do love my new fish, though.) My goal for 2021 is to have a low-buy year, meaning that I will strive to not invest in anything that isn't absolutely necessary. This is not only the perfect way to save the planet, it's also a great way to bank some cash. It is my hope to double my savings account this year so I can have plenty of money available when I eventually make the move to New York.

These goals are not for everyone, but I find myself taking inspiration from those who have shared their ambitions for others to see. I only hope that whoever is reading this can take something from the above list and implement it into their own personal growth.

I hope y'all have a lovely 2021 filled with light, love and evolution.

Go watch "The Social Dilemma."


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From This Author - Jessica Vanek

Jessica Vanek is 20 years old and recently relocated from Las Vegas to Oklahoma where she is now attending Oklahoma City University as a Musical Theatre major / Mass Communications minor. Though she l... Jessica Vanek">(read more about this author)


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