A Love Letter to My College Years
Where did the time go? It feels like yesterday that I was setting foot on campus for the first time as a student- excited, nervous, hopeful for the four years that would follow. It feels like yesterday I was meeting these new people for the first time, unaware of how important they would come to be in my life. Like yesterday, I gained my first real taste of independence that would ignite the spark that would guide me through the journey of the most important years of my life to date.
The lessons I learned in my four years of schooling are endless. From a career standpoint, I am so blessed to have been placed where I was for the last four years. Truthfully, (sorry, DeSales!), but DeSales was not the place I wanted to go! I had my eyes on so many larger schools with (what I thought at the time) were bigger and better theatre programs, but I have no regrets in the choice I made. If I hadn’t gone to DeSales, I never would have had a regional theatre right at my fingertips. I am forever indebted to DeSales and the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival for taking a chance on me and presenting me with all the incredible opportunities I was able to be part of.
I learned the importance of professionalism and preparedness- two of the most invaluable qualities to possess in any career. I also learned the value of kindness above all else. I fell in love with DeSales because of how welcoming the community was; I was always shown compassion. The theatre department was also the place where I began to learn to trust myself and my gut instincts as an actor, which ultimately helped me to trust myself in everyday life. I gained such a sense of freedom of expression, and I was allowed to cultivate the tools deemed necessary moving forward into the working world.
But career business aside, the lessons I learned and the perspective I gained off the stage shaped me into the woman I am today. The friends that I made in college undoubtedly will be my forever friends. They will be my life long self-tape readers, my go-to group text, my future bridesmaids, the ‘aunties’ to my future children. My greatest support system. They have taught me so much about what I deserve and have shown me the greatest love I could have imagined. While the four years brought us all many ups and downs, I know the friends I have made will remain my constants.
I have learned the importance of fostering the passions I have, whether they are related to my chosen career path or not. Because who knows? Dreams change, people change, and the plans I thought I had for my professional career could change in an instant. The lessons and strategies I learned in my four years of college ultimately prepared me (as much as they could) for what I am experiencing right now during this pandemic. Never in a million years could I have predicted that I wouldn’t get to finish out the remainder of my college career sharing every last milestone, big or small, with my best friends by my side. But it is because of the strong relationships I fostered, the practice techniques I honed, and the drive I developed that I have been able to persevere.
There is one lesson that I cherish most of all. Carrie Bradshaw (my girl!) said it best. “Don’t forget to fall in love with yourself first.” This couldn’t be more true. Even though this lesson was definitely the hardest for me to grasp, and I am still working on it, I have made such incredible strides in loving the person that I am coming to be in every role that I play in my life- daughter, friend, artist, and beyond.
Congratulations to the Class of 2020. May our light never dim, and our dreams stay big!