Well the cat is out of the bag as of a week ago: I have decided to transfer universities to start my junior year. What I keep hearing is, "Aren't you nervous?," "Will you graduate on time?," "Are you sure you want to leave?," "Won't it be hard to transfer as a junior?" Well the answer to all of these is yes. Of course I'm nervous but that shouldn't stop me from going. Being scared is a sign that you're about to do something brave and in my experience, bravery is rewarded with satisfaction. While I may be nervous, I know I am about to embark on a journey towards a dream I have had ever since I was six years old and performing "Wizard of Oz" songs for my parents in our basement, dressed in a Dorothy costume. I proclaimed that I wanted to be an actress. Of course at the time that was just a dream of the week, probably shortly followed with dreams if being a chef, veterinarian, singer, and fashion designer. However, I still remember when I knew that theater needed to always be a part of my life and future.
When I was 11, I was cast in my first musical. I was just a part of the ensemble but that was enough to give me the theater bug. As time went on, I tried many different activities but performing was the only one that ever stuck. There is no way to describe the way it feels to be under the lights, in front of a full audience, knowing all their eyes are on you and it's up to you to entertain them. Nerve wracking? Yes. Rewarding? Absolutely. Soon enough I found myself a senior in high school, seventeen years old and faced with the decision on what I wanted to do with my future. Of course deep down I knew I wanted to major in Theater, but at the time it wasn't an option open to me.
So I picked the next closest thing. a communications major with a theater minor. I thought this could fulfill what I wanted while pleasing my parents with my major choice. I got through one and a half years of college on that path, but I always felt like there was something missing. It wasn't until I was cast in the musical put on at Carroll this year that I realized what that was. It was performing, it was theater, it was everything I had spent the past seven years of my life doing. I had spent the past year and a half of college trying to fill that void with all different activities that I had not realized that none of them were truly filling it. They were just helping to pass the time and keep my mind distracted from what I really wanted.
When I was a senior, before the closing show of our spring musical, our director spoke some words to the cast that truly stuck with me. That theater is something that can always be a part of us, and no matter what no one can take that away. It wasn't until recently that I realized how true that was. No matter what I found myself doing in college, I would always find myself referring to past performances or sharing stories of past shows. To some it may have seemed like I was reliving the past too much. But to me those are the stories I can speak with true passion and love in my voice.
So I realized what I had to do. I had to uproot, leave my friends, and the university I had been forcing myself to call home for the past two years. I realized I wasn't truly happy and the only way to be truly happy is to set out on the pursuit of the dream that, that six year old in a Dorothy costume once proclaimed. Even though everyone keeps asking me why I made the decision in various forms of the question, I only have one answer for them. I made this decision because I know in my heart it's the right one. This risk is worth the reward for me.
In ten years, whether I am performing, working in the business side of theater, or inspiring high school students just like my high school director inspired me; I will consider my life a success. You may say "Why are you leaving? Won't you regret leaving behind what you've worked on for two years?" The answer is no. I would regret much more not trying, settling for plan B, and spending the rest of my life wondering what if. So here's to new beginnings, new plans, new steps, and the future that I have always wanted to live. I'll let you know how it goes.