Eternal Sunshine of the Student MindLife can be scary, that’s an undeniable fact we all have to face sometimes. But the thing that makes that a little easier is realizing that that ‘scary’ feeling can sometimes push us in directions of progress and change.

At times you may think that everything is all figured out: where you want to go to college, what you want to major in, or who your closest friends are. But in an instant, something can spark your interest and push you in an entirely different direction, And with that spark comes fear.

That fear is necessary to push you out of your comfort zone and do something you never thought you could do. Understand? No? That’s okay. 🙂

I’ll flesh this out so it’s more than a clichéd metaphor.

In junior high school, I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life as a chef, going to culinary school at home in Pittsburgh and moving somewhere to work at a restaurant. Suddenly, out of the blue, I auditioned for the 8th grade school musical – since I used to do theater as a grade-school student it just sort of made sense. At that point something scary happened: I loved it.

The show was “Guys & Dolls,” and I was cast as Miss Adelaide, a tough but girly New-Yorker with a heavily nauseating accent and a 14-year engagement to a charmingly slick card-shark. Now, I of course have never had this exact experience, but the opportunity to step completely outside of myself and do something different thrilled me, thus effectively killing my desire to cook. I wanted to be on stage.

As high school progressed, I did a few more musicals and several plays before another realization washed over me almost as suddenly as the first: this was going to be difficult to turn into a profession.

Actors often have to take years of classes – and often know someone in the business already – to break into the paying field of performance. On the same token, sometimes people fall into it almost by chance. (Remember when “RENT” was turned into a movie? The guy who played Roger used to be in a rock band and just sort of ended up in a Broadway show. Lucky, right?)

This sort of uncertainty pushed me towards journalism. I found a love for writing I’d never seen before in me and I began writing for the school paper as well as for my own enjoyment.

What I mean really comes down to one thing: it’s okay to have some uncertainty about your path when you enter college. It’s why we have an undecided major for freshman to dabble in a number of things that may pique your interest. If you know sort of where you want to go – like I did with these types of ‘humanities’ related majors, we have undeclared majors in those fields.

Don’t stress over uncertainty – revel in it! This is the time when you can have all of those thoughts and college is here to help point you in the right direction if you let it.

As for me, I’m a theatre & communication arts major working on a minor in journalism, a perfect fit for all of those things! (Well, except the cooking, I sort of got past that when I realized all I could really make was those fake crab-legs and boxed pierogies.)

So good luck! And as always if you ever need anything, I’m always here.

Til next time,