To Those Who Discourage Me From Chasing My Dreams

To Those Who Discourage Me From Chasing My Dreams

Your capabilities, passion, and definition of success are the only things that should matter when choosing your career.

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My parents are very supportive of my passions in life. While my dad has jokingly suggested that I should become a lawyer a multitude of times, I know at the end of the day he will be proud of whatever I end up doing. However, there are many parents and other adults out there who look at my Bachelor of Arts in environmental science, hear me discuss my passions, and question my capability of success due to the probable low pay and riskiness of the jobs I desire. These people need to understand a few things.

First, not everyone is meant to be a doctor, lawyer or engineer. While I would love the paycheck and job safety of these jobs, I either don't have the capability to do the job or the passion to do it. To me, passion is just as important as capability because you should devote your life to doing what makes you happy and what you feel is the best use of your talents.

Additionally, money is often used as an indicator of success, but success should not be solely based on the money you make. Every person should have their own definition of success that is determined by what they want to achieve in their lifetime. Personally, I aim to help solve issues in education, poverty, climate change, and biodiversity, so the results of my actions should be what defines my success. More often than not, people who are involved in those issues have to be proud of their small victories because societal and ecological issues exist due to many compounding factors. Let it be known, I am perfectly fine with accepting those small victories.

Yet, the success I desire cannot and will not happen if everyone is constantly discouraged to fight against these societal and ecological problems. Each notable movement, invention, or even policy that has been created in this world was born out of the uncomfortable risk of many people.

Every time someone tells me that I should try to get one of those safer jobs, they imply to me that they don't believe that the risk is worth it and that I should find another way to care about these issues. This is offensive to me because I am trying to make the world a better place and if nobody tries because it is difficult, how is anything supposed to get better? Sometimes you just have to have faith in yourself and what you believe in. The last thing I want to have in life is the regret that I squandered my potential by settling for a safer job.

So just please be considerate to those who are opting to not make money in order to do something that they are passionate about. If that career will make them have a sense of fulfillment and will allow them to experience what they want in life, isn't that what really matters?

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Why High School Musicals Should Be As Respected As Sports Programs Are

The arts are important, too.
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When I was in middle school and high school, I felt like I lived for the musicals that my school orchestrated.

For those of you who don't know, a musical is an onstage performance wherein actors take on roles that involve singing, and often dancing, to progress the plot of the story. While it may sound a little bit nerdy to get up in front of an audience to perform in this manner, this is something you cannot knock until you try it.

For some reason, though, many public schools have de-funded arts programs that would allow these musicals to occur, while increasing the funding for sports teams. There are a few things that are being forgotten when sports are valued more than musical programs in high schools.

Much like athletic hobbies, an actor must try out or audition to participate in a musical. Those best suited for each role will be cast, and those who would not fit well are not given a part. While this may sound similar to trying out for say, basketball, it is an apples-to-oranges comparison.

At a basketball tryout, those who have the most experience doing a lay-up or shooting a foul shot will be more likely to succeed, no questions asked. However, for an audition, it is common to have to learn a piece of choreography upon walking in, and a potential castmember will be required to sing a selected piece with only a few days of preparation.

There are many more variables involved with an audition that makes it that much more nerve-racking.

The cast of a school musical will often rehearse for several months to perfect their roles, with only several nights of performance at the end. Many sports practice for three or four days between each of their respective competitions. While this may seem to make sports more grueling, this is not always the case.

Musicals have very little payoff for a large amount of effort, while athletic activities have more frequent displays of their efforts.

Athletes are not encouraged to but are allowed to make mistakes. This is simply not allowed for someone in a musical, because certain lines or entrances may be integral to the plot.

Sometimes, because of all the quick changes and the sweat from big dance numbers, the stage makeup just starts to smear. Despite this, an actor must smile through it all. This is the part of musicals that no sport has: introspection.

An actor must think about how he or she would respond in a given situation, be it saddening, maddening, frightening, or delightful. There is no sport that requires the knowledge of human emotion, and there is especially no sport that requires an athlete to mimic such emotion. This type of emotional exercise helps with communications and relationships.

Sports are great, don't get me wrong. I loved playing volleyball, basketball, track, and swimming, but there were no experiences quite like those from a musical. Sports challenge the body with slight amounts of tactic, while musicals require much physical and mental endurance.

The next time you hear someone say that it's “just a musical," just remember that musicals deserve as much respect as sports, since they are just as, if not more demanding.

Cover Image Credit: Cincinnati Arts

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Writer's Block: A Road Block We've All Hit

In the corner, the deer head is mocking you.

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It's two hours before your deadline and everything you start to type sounds terrible. You get five words into a sentence and you immediately hit the backspace button or throw your notebook across the room.

You think you have something solid and then you read it out loud and it's worse than you originally thought possible. Nothing sounds right to you and the clock is ticking. Minutes pass, but you can't seem to find anything that works.


You look all around the room for inspiration. In the corner, the deer head is mocking you and in the other corner, the hole in the ceiling is just reminding you of how empty your brain feels at the moment. Nothing is coming to you and it's no longer silent because your brother is upstairs singing in the shower and your sister is listening to music as she falls asleep.

Another half-hour has passed and you're drenched in sweat. Your pen is slipping out of your hand and you are stressing. Your fingers are sliding across the keys and not in the cool confident way. Your eyes are burning from the sweat droplets on the corners of your eyes.

It's writer's block and we've all been there.

In fact, right before I began this, I was experiencing it myself. I tried moving to different rooms in the house, asking three different people for ideas and listening/watching multiple platforms: acoustic music, sports, Amazon Prime TV, etc. Nothing was working and I was sure that I was going to miss my deadline and have nothing to turn in.

I honestly thought I was going to end up in a ball of tears.


However, I turned my problem into my solution and wrote down everything I was feeling.

Now, this may not always work, especially if you're writing something for school on the War of 1812 or Abraham Lincoln. One thing that will work is taking a deep breath. Write whatever comes to your mind and don't delete it, even if you think it's absolutely terrible. Some of my best writing has come from what I thought was terrible.

But most importantly, remember: Writer's block is real, but it's also overcomeable and you've probably dealt with it more than you realize.

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