So, I Graduated College

I can’t believe this day finally happened. I have been in school for the last sixteen years, SIXTEEN, and that is so crazy to think about. College really changed who I am. I met so many incredible and important people in the last four years who have helped to shape me into the person I am today. I guess what I want to do is share some wisdom that I have taken in over the last four years to those who have yet to graduate.

It’s okay if college isn’t for you

I have met so many people who only completed one semester or one year and realized that school isn’t for them, and that’s okay! There is no shame in not wanting to go to college because it is something that just isn’t for everyone. College is not the only key to success and it’s iimportant to let life guide you to where you need to be in order to feel fulfilled. I have found that during my time in college, but that doesn’t mean that all people will.

Take time for yourself

I realized about a month into my freshman year of college that I really value taking time to be alone. That’s hard to have in college because you have roommates and there’s so many people everywhere. I felt like the only time I had to be alone was in my car and that sucked. If you realize that you are someone who needs to get away from people every now and then, find how you can make that happen and take advantage. Is it going for a long walk or bike ride? Is it getting away in your car and finding somewhere new to explore? Is it finding a quiet corner of the library and diving into a book you’ve been desperately wanting to read? Whatever it is, don’t be afraid to take advantage.

Take your grades seriously

College is a time to have fun, but you want to know what isn’t fun? Realizing that it’s the end of the semester and there is barely any hope for you to pass classes. That results in so much stress and a lot of money wasted. Luckily i never ran into this issue, but I know some people who did and they were miserable when it came time to get their act together and try to save their grades.  College is a time to have fun, meet new people, and try new things, but those happy times shouldn’t keep you from what you actually came to college to do- get an education and a degree!!!

Take chances

College is a time to discover who you are. Don’t be afraid to take chances. Life is too short to play it safe. Taking chances in life can result in so many great opportunities but you are the only one who can get you there. Put yourself out there and see what life has to offer you. Nobody becomes successful by siting in their room all day and expecting an opportunity to fall on their lap. It is up to you to get your name and your abilities out there and show people the incredible and talented person you are and why you are the best person for the job.

Take changes on your personal life. Ask the cute person out who you’ve been crushing on for months. Go to the open mic night and let your voice shine. Publish something to the school paper and let your words inspire others. Start that youtube channel and share your story! The possibilities are endless. They only end if you let them.

Don’t be afraid to take a chance on yourself.

Don’t let anyone pressure you into anything you don’t want to do

When you’re in college, you’re meeting so many new people and making so many new memories. Never let anyone pressure into doing something that makes you uncomfortable. Whether that’s drinking, drugs, or doing something plain stupid, don’t do anything unless you want to. Nobody should judge you for not doing something you feel genuinely uneasy about. This is different from taking chances. Don’t take a chance on something that you are genuinely worried about. Take a chance on opportunities you genuinely want. And if anyone makes you feel bad for not partaking in anything you don’t want to do, then they aren’t worth having in your life.

Have fun!!!

I cannot stress this enough! College is a time to discover who you are! You are young and your future is bright. Meet new people, go to games, go to parties. Find people who you click with and take life by the horns and run with it. This is your time. This is your time to find your passion in life. If you don’t then that’s okay. At least you are discovering important things about yourself. Cherish the memories you make in college because before you know it, those four years fly by and you’re walking passed your loved ones in a cap and gown ready to recieve a piece of paper you have been working your ass off to get for the last sixteen years.

This is your time. Don’t waste it.

Sincerely,

A sentimental graduate

 

An Update on My Life

Hello Internet! It truly has been a while since I’ve last posted. A lot has happened in the last few months.

Firstly, I served as Production Manager for my class’s senior thesis project where we form a company and put on a children’s show. The show was called The Princess King and it was an incredible experience! We had many ips and downs along the way but we made it through! It was a show that taught us and the children so many important lessons about being yourself and never giving up on your dreams. We had such an amazing time putting this show on and it is something that I will remember as one of the best experiences of my life.

The Princess King Cast and Crew
Cast and Crew of The Princess King – DeSales Theatre Class of 2019

My classes this semester have taught me so much about life and myself. My favorite class, which is actuall one of the best classes I’ve ever taken is called Women in the World and it has taught me so much about being a strong woman and how to share my strengths with the world. We have been tackling the experiences of women through christianity, pre-christianity, and modern thought. It has been so enightening to see how throughout history, the notion of the fall of man from genesis is the precursor to poor treatment of women. Because this text has been taken literally, women have been thought of as lesser than men and have been at a disservice throughout history. It never hit me that this has been the case and really opened my eyes on how to educate myself and those around me on how we can achieve truer equality between the sexes.

I am on the Wardrobe crew for Pippin at DeSales and it is proving to be a very fun experience. I love the actors I am working with and they have made it great. I loved hanging out with some of my best friends every night and having an opportunity to work with costumes during a run. It also gives me more experience learning how to interract with different people backstage as a stage manager.

In the summer, I will be returning to the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival as a stage management intern for the REP shows. This will be my third season at the Festival, and I am really looking forward coming back again. This will be my first time working on shows that are rehearsing simultaneously and while it will be hard and stressful at times, it is an opportunity for me to learn about this type of process and to put my organizational skills to the test.

After the summer, I will have my first Post-Grad job as the Non-Equity Assistant Stage Manager at Delaware Theatre Company. I am so excited for this incredible opportunity to learn and hone my skills in my craft. I have been a little nervous lately over the thought of leaving school and not going back. I don’t think this will really hit me until I start my job at DTC. It is so strange to think that afterbeing in school for the last 18 years, I will finally be free, well at least of homework. Hello, debt! I am really dreading student loans but as long as I am smart with my money and keep working hard, I will eventually get through that.

Now that the semester is ending, I am hoping to get back into the swing of this blog and to get more of my story out there!

 

I Am Woman

To me, womanhood is embracing your strength, defying gender and social norms, shattering the class ceiling until nothing is left. As a gender, womanhood has been challenged since the earliest stories of creation and as a modern-day woman, I feel that it is my duty to further embrace these aspects of womanhood to inspire myself, others around me, and future generations of strong, badass women.

Websters Dictionary’s website has many definitions of the word “empower, and one of them is the verb to empower, explaining it as “to promote the self-actualization or influence of [something]” and uses its example as how the women’s march is inspiring and empowering to women. The word “empower” is being adopted into the culture of feminism and equality between all regardless of gender, gender identity, skin color, social standing, etc. “Empower” has become a very common word in my vocabulary lately and it has become a positive necessity in my life that touches everything I do. Everything I study for, every conversation, blog post, thought, has come from this place of empowerment that was once so deep inside me that I didn’t know it was there. Now, my empowerment has begun to grow and flourish within me and has taught me that I need to help other people grow.

I am currently taking one of the best classes I have ever taken in college called “Women in the World” and every day it inspires me to be a better woman and helps me to understand what it means to be female. I am very empowered by my gender and sexuality and I believe that it has given me a power and confidence in life. It gives me something to identify with and gives me a further understanding with the women around me. As women, we have been subject to the stories that our ancestors have been privy to which, when taken seriously, have been an integral part in shaping society’s standards of who women are to be in relation to themselves, other women, and men. The main one is the book of Genesis in the Bible. After the fall of man, the Bible states that Eve was to go from being in equal union to Adam to being beneath him and would have to follow his way instead of her own. I remember in grade school (which was a private catholic school) when the girls and boys would get into arguments with each other because of the whole Adam and Eve story. The boys would say that because Eve sinned first and convinced Adam to eat the fruit that girls are clearly inferior to boys. These gender barriors were present in us as young children and has fed a society where, although women are making amazing strides in the workforce, in sports, in the beauty community, and so many other places, we as an entire gender are still seen as inferior to men.

Inferior to men? FUCK THAT! Feminism is not about one gender being greater than the other. It is about each gender lifting the other up in all aspects of life. It’s about men not feeling emasculated if a woman is in a higher position than him. It’s about women supporting men who may take on responsibilities that were once considered too feminine.

I asked some of the people closest to me about what it means to them to be a woman and here’s some of their responses:

“Powerful yet flexible”

“Never letting others stop you from being who you are on the inside”

“Supporting other women, being proud of who you are. Women are real life superHERos!”

“Having the ability to nurture, love, adapt, support, cry, rage, calm and grow. We are a jumble of emotions and its our best attribute.”

 

My favorite quote comes from my beautiful mother: “I think empowerment means not sitting back and letting life happen to you, but tackling challenges head-on. I think it is also being unafraid to chase your dreams and do what you need to do in order to achieve those dreams, even if those dreams challenge society’s expectations and notions of womanhood. Keep doing what you are doing!” This is a woman who inspires me every day. I am never afraid to talk to her about anything and I know she has my back no matter what I do. My mom never followed what society expected of her. She did what felt right to her. Coming from a “traditional” family, her parents pushed her to get married right after high school but she wanted more out of life. She traveled, got a job, met my dad, and began her life her way. She worked while my sister and I were young and then decided to be a stay at home mom because she felt that it was best for her family. Then when I was 7, she went to college and finally got a degree she’d been wanting for so long. She worked her ass off with two small children, pets, a husband, and so many responsibilities to become an english teacher and inspire and mold the minds of the future. Sometimes I forget how much my mom has done to make her life the way she wants it and to also help my sister and I live up to our fullest potential and that selflessness is something I can only hope to come close to paying back.

To come to a conclusion to my rambling, being a woman is finding your path in your own way. It’s fighting to make a change fot the future that’s good for all. It’s finding your inner strength to accept and love yourself so that others can do the same. Being a woman means to empower. Take your strengths to empower yourself, those around you, and those you have yet to meet.

My Progress So Far

Now that we are in the new year, part of my resolution was to bring myself to be the healthiest I can be so that I can be an organ donor for my dad. So far, I have been tracking my food and going for walks or using my parents’ elliptical every day and I am very proud of the work I have been putting in. I’ll admit that I haven’t been the absolute healthiest on this journey. I have indulged in some sweets almost every day and I need to exercise more self-control. I had a bad morning last week where I looked at myself in the mirror and I was so upset with the way I looked. Then I got even more upset because I was thinking so poorly of myself. It’s important that I feel confident in myself and put myself to a true and healthy routine. I have loved getting into the habit of taking a break from whatever laziness I have put myself to and taking a half an hour or so to be active. It’s a great way for me to feel productive, which I love, and I get to confidently say that I did something to improve my health and am closer to my goal of being healthy enough to be a donor.

I have been trying to phrase this journey as me trying to be healthier so I can be a donor and I avoid solely thinking about losing weight or becoming thinner. This has been helpful in shaping how I think about myself and my adjusting lifestyle. Pushing myself to be more positive has, so far, been the biggest thing making me continue. Instead of thinking, “ugh I have to go work out now…” I think about how nice it would be to go for a nice long walk in the fresh air, or I think about how nice it would be to go ham on the elliptical and then shower off all the sweat. If I go extra hard on a workout, I treat myself to some awesome skin care after just to keep up the pampering of my body. Working out in a way is pampering yourself because for me, when I’m done, it makes me feel better about myself. Even though I may regret it in the middle of it, I’ve never come down from a workout and regretted anything I did.

I can’t wait to see how I keep going throughout this month and the rest of this year. It hasn’t been long, but I really am proud of everything I’ve done. I hope this can inspire anyone else looking into a lifestyle change!

Looming Anxious Thoughts – My Senior Project

There are often times where I feel a small pang of anxiety looming over me because of thoughts of what I can’t control. For me, this is mainly the thought of everything that I have yet to do or the future that awaits me beyond college. One of the biggest things on my mind is this big senior project I have going on. It’s called Act 3 (technically it’s Integrating Experience) and for this class, the senior theatre majors must form a company put on an entire children’s show. This includes picking the show, electing people to positions, designing the show’s lights, sound, costumes, sets, and props, casting the show, and putting everything on its feet. I am the production manager for our show, which is called The Princess King. It is a charming tale about defying expectations and stereotypes regarding gender and status.

I have a big job, making sure that everythings stays organized, and it’s the first time I’ve had an opportunity to do this. To make matters worse, the faculty usually expects students to learn from their predecessors so I’ll have to rely on people who don’t even go to school any more to help me with odd questions… Or I’ll have to figure them out for my own. I am interested in production management as another career path but this role is of not the typical production manager so it is unfortunately not teaching me much in terms of what I should expect should I hope to take on more responsibilities in this type of role in a professional setting.  It scares me knowing that I’m not confident in how I should do my job and I worry I’ll let people down. All I want in the world is to help put on a show that we will all be proud of and be a leader that my class can rely on and trust throughout the entire process. I want to be confident and I think to get me there, I must make a list of everything I can expect so that I don’t get overwhelmed when things come up. Making lists is a good way for me to get my anxiety together and I hope that will help with this.

I have an incredible support system within my senior class and outside and I know that I will have help. I just need to trust myself.

Feeling Lost

It’s easy to feel like you have no idea what you’re doing, like you’re lost in your own life. There have been times when I look at myself in the mirror and don’t even recognize myself and it’s times like this when I feel so small and scared. It’s times like now where my future is pretty vague and I have no idea where I’m going. This is a major factor that fuels my anxiety. It’s times when I feel like this where I feel the most doubt and fear in life and I don’t really know where to turn next. I wish that I didn’t have these feelings but this is a part of life- to question the next step. If we didn’t feel lost from time to time, we wouldn’t find our next path. Sometimes we need to dig deep in our hearts and minds to discover what we are meant to do next. I often forget to do this and assume that I’m headed toward a dark place. I often struggle to see the light at the end of the tunnel because I’m scared of what will be on the other side. But that’s the beauty of life. We are never privy to the knowledge of what is yet to come. It is something that we must discover with each passing moment of each day. It is okay to question your next step, but you must trust that you will find your way. It’s like the verse in Amazing Grace, “I once was lost, but now am found. Was blind but now I see.” Don’t let yourself be blind to your future. Embrace it with confidence. This is an easy sentiment to write into a blog post and isn’t as easy to follow through with in life. I need to trust that I will find a way into a bright future despite feeling lost at the moment.

If anyone has any suggestions for bringing yourself out of dark thoughts, I’d love to hear about them.