10 Ways High School Theater Helped Me Take Center Stage In College
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10 Ways High School Theater Helped Me Take Center Stage In College

I am so thankful for my time in theater during high school.

10 Ways High School Theater Helped Me Take Center Stage In College
Cara Hoekstra

The lessons I learned from participating in theater in high school have helped me in many areas of college. Here are some ways that participation in theater has prepared me for many aspects of my college experience at Baylor University.

1. Teamwork

No play or musical production is possible without a huge amount of teamwork. From building a set to helping a fellow cast member memorize their lines or learn a song, we all worked together to make the performances we gave the best it could be. In college, there is a lot of teamwork required. Obviously group projects involve teamwork, but many other situations take more than one mind to figure out. From study sessions to personal disagreements, teamwork is essential in surviving college.

2. Time management

Being involved in theater comes with a lot of time commitment. Part of being involved was figuring out how to finish homework and other responsibilities while at the same time being present at every practice. This helps in college for obvious reasons. College comes with so many options on how to spend your time. It requires a lot of time management skills to figure out how to get all your homework done, study for tests, go to meetings and have some sort of social life. Being involved in the theater definitely prepared me for this.

3. Able to memorize large portions of text

Memorizing my lines and songs for theater has prepared me for memorizing things in college. This comes in handy, especially for tests and quizzes in college.

4. Keep going with very little sleep

In the weeks leading up to a performance, the amount of time spent in practice becomes greater and greater. When play practice ends at 7 or 8, that leaves very little time for homework and other things. I am convinced that I survived the week before the first performance purely because of how much caffeine and adrenaline was running through my body. You learn to keep going even if you had very little sleep. In college, no matter how well you may manage your time, there will always be a couple nights each semester where you get a lot less sleep than you need. Being involved in theater prepared me to survive on very little sleep.

5. Learn to appreciate other people’s abilities

Putting on a production relies on the talents and abilities of a wide range of people. Someone's carpentry abilities or sewing abilities are just as important as someone's acting or singing abilities. They are all needed to put on a production. In college, you come to appreciate the talents and abilities of others. They can come in handy in some of the oddest times.

6. The confidence to speak in front of people

Giving presentations in class or answering a professor’s question is a breeze after having to perform in front of a crowd of people. Being involved in the theater gave me the confidence I needed to feel comfortable presenting or speaking in front of people. A room full of your peers does not feel very intimidating after you have sung and danced in front of an audience.

7. Work with a wide range of personalities

People in theater are notorious for having loud or unique personalities. As mentioned above, putting on a production requires teamwork. Through theater I have had to work with a wide range of personalities. The same is true of college. You meet a lot of loud and unique personalities and theater has prepared me to work and interact with people I would otherwise have a hard time understanding.

8. Following directions

From listening to the director’s instructions to following along with the choreographer, theater has taught me how to follow directions. Following directions is very important in college. Not following how the professor wants you to format a paper or answer a question can cost you some valuable points.

9. Hard work

Theater is a huge time commitment and along with that comes a lot of hard work. It takes time to memorize your lines, learn choreography, learn a song, go through the blocking of a scene, etc. But the hard work always paid off. In college, it takes a lot of hard work to do well, but if you are really invested in your learning, it is definitely worth it.

10. Commitment

Because theater took so much time and work, it required a lot of commitment. It often meant foregoing other activities. College is very similar. There is so much to do, but if you really want to get something meaningful from an activity you have to commit. Half-heartedly committing to a ton of things will not be fulfilling.

* * *

I am so thankful for my time in theater in high school. It taught me so much about life and gave me countless precious memories and good stories. Those lessons have even gone on to help me in college.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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