When I was a senior in High School, and began to go through the process of attending college fairs, I walked through the various aisles hearing hundreds of different college administrators gushing about each of their schools and how they know it would be the perfect fit for the parents' daughter/son. Nothing really was catching my attention until I heard someone say “You know, it’s really not up to me to guarantee that you will experience all of these things.” I turned my head and it was coming from the table marked Tisch School of the Arts. I stepped closer and realized that this had been one of the Dream schools on my list of best schools for the American Actor. I smiled at the Tisch administrator and continued to listen to him talk about how college is only what you make it, and how New York City and NYU isn’t a place for everyone. Maybe it was the calmness of his voice among all of the chaos at that college fair, but as I kept listening, I grew more and more on bored with my current school. By the end of the day I knew I had to be there.
Once I got into NYU Tisch I was an ecstatic freshman, bubbling over with joy that I was blessed enough to get into my dream school. But as my first year progressed, I realized that I was beginning to feel pretty lonely in the city. Growing up in New Jersey was a whole different world, and I craved the city so much while I was home. But once I actually got there it was like my life was sort of put on hold. I felt overwhelmed but at the same time excited for what was to come. Surprisingly, I found myself indoors a lot, occasionally getting involved with student projects at Tisch rather than going out and exploring. I noticed how staying indoors all the time began to change me. I saw all my friends going out and about in the city, taking advantage of every opportunity to see theatre or go to a free festival or concert, and by the end of the year I felt like a completely different person. While I was trying to put a finger on the crux of my identity crisis, those same words from the college fair echoed in my mind. College is what you make it, and no one else is to blame for my changing except for me and what I choose to do. Once I realized that, I came back to school my second year and took advantage of all that New York, and my school, had to offer. And it was extremely rewarding.
No one can re-do their years in college, but they can learn from them. I've learned it's important to stop and reflect on what it is you really want out of your life. What excites you? What is something you've never done before? You can only answer those questions by going out and finding them for yourself.