Six schools, seven essays, countless revisions of a resume and personal statement, four breakdowns, and a switch between two schools later – I have officially decided what I am going to do for the next two years of my life. Ah, graduate school … the masters, the thesis, the continued addiction to coffee and the ability to read 300 pages a night … sounds … great. By the first few months of your senior year as an undergrad you begin to realize that the finish line is nearing and that you have multiple paths in front of you; unfortunately, you can only pick one (for now). I toyed with the idea of continuing my summer job full-time, of applying for multiple types of jobs, of moving to either DC, Chicago or NYC to audition for shows, or to really become one with my Netflix account until I finally decided on grad school. No one told me I had to go to grad school; rather I’ve heard the opposite because of the amount of loans I am taking out to make this goal possible. Yes, I’ll be in debt, but continuing my education just feels right.
I have always loved school – honestly. I like firm schedules and deadlines mixed with creative expression and flexible projects. I truly think teachers need to be paid the highest salaries and be given far more credit than they have yet to receive, and most importantly, I love learning. Due to my mentorship with Dr. Grace Godwin (whom I’ve previously mentioned), I have gained much more faith in my abilities as a writer, an academic and a theatrical individual. Because of the multitude of classes I have taken at CNU, ranging from exploring Buddhism in an honors seminar to examining the emerging genre of magic realism in an English class, my areas of interest and skill have become more defined while still maintaining an appreciation for a plethora of subjects. In the fall I will be attending Loyola University Chicago to earn my masters in English.
Despite theater being my first major, I felt that while I am still in the academic mind-frame and with the program’s flexibility to work with the stage, English was not only the most “responsible” program for me to enter into but also the best of both worlds. Of course, I’m asked the questions, “What do you want to do?” “What about acting?” “Are you just going to teach then?” to which I must first clarify that teaching is NEVER a fallback career and for those who use it as such are not truly called to the noble profession. Additionally, I will still be auditioning for productions in Chicago while working toward my masters. I have never been one to do just one thing, and CNU has given me the opportunity to understand that you don’t have to settle for a job but can create your own career. Call me idealistic or naïve, I am nonetheless excited to cultivate my passions both professionally and theatrically.