BWW BLOG: Surviving the First Semester of Freshman Year as a Musical Theatre Major
Jess here. It's a wrap. My first semester of college is over, and wow, did time fly! Now that I'm on winter break and have returned home to a warmer climate, I've had some time to relax and refuel. Reflecting on the last four months of college has been inspiring, so I thought I'd share some of the pearls of wisdom I've collected during my short tenure as a Musical Theatre student thus far.
1) First and foremost; money goes fast. Faster than I ever thought it could. It's wild because what begins as a decent balance in your bank account can quickly deteriorate, leaving you unexpectedly sitting in your dorm living off little more than a ration of ramen noodles and saltine crackers. Lesson learned; budget your money so you have an accessible steady stream of it, rather than a lot of it at one time, and then suddenly none. You don't always need to go out to eat, or buy that new top, or see the latest movie. Decide what's really worth your money and commit to that.
2) Get to know your class! One of the best things I ever did was open myself up to my MT 2021 class, and I don't regret it. Each and every one of them is a STAR (pun intended) and I am so excited to grow with them over the next three and a half years. I'm very fortunate to have found such a wonderful group of friends to cherish and confide in.
3) Separate your personal life from your practice. I went through several difficult personal issues this semester, but I did my best to keep rehearsing and not let it affect my growth as a performer. And I'm truly grateful I did, because if I hadn't remained focused I would've missed out on opportunities that allowed me to advance my craft further.
4) Just because you're not good at it right now, doesn't mean you won't be someday. This applies to my skills (or lack thereof) as a dancer. Dance is an art form I've ALWAYS struggled with, and I somehow convinced myself that I'd never learn it. But I persevered, and overcame. I enrolled in a collegiate dance class and have already improved my skills remarkably! I am slowly but surely conquering an insecurity I've fought with since I was young, and developing the right mindset is 50% of the battle.
5) Never put off doing your laundry. Trust me - just don't.
6) Be who you are, and strive to be what you want to be. Too often, I've fallen victim of trying to fit into someone else's idea of perfection, and let me tell you, it's counterproductive. Do what you feel will not only help you advance as a performer, but also as a person. And feel good about it.
College can be fun if you let it. I've never loved a place more than I love Oklahoma City University, and I can't wait for what the future semesters have in store for me. It's a challenge I eagerly look forward to every day.
Enjoy this time with your family. I wish you all Happy Holidays and a safe and prosperous New Year!
"What's hard is simple, what's natural is hard." -Stephen Sondheim