By Peyton Wood
As my first semester at Baylor University winds down with finals only a month away, I’m sitting back and thinking about how I got to where I am. I remember in 6th grade telling my mom that I was going to be a theatre major when I went to college. Now I won’t say that she looked at me like I was crazy, but to hear her 12 year old daughter already be so sure about her future must have been quite interesting for my mother. But here I am, studying my art form at a top university less than 3 hours away from my hometown of Houston, Texas. I feel like just about the luckiest person on Earth and that’s why I felt the need to tell this story.
I want everyone reading this to, if you haven’t been paying attention this far, at least read the title of my post: do what you love, love what you do. I can’t imagine doing anything other than theatre right now. As I’m writing this, I am a mere 4 and a half hours away from performing in front of all of my peers in the department for the very first time and I am shaking in my boots but I could not be more excited to share my art with those around me.
I thought about studying to be a forensic scientist or even a lawyer but neither of those things called me like the theatre did. I felt like I could make a real difference with the arts by giving honest depictions of relatable events in plays and musicals because that’s what I do best. I feel the need to urge all of you seniors not to go into a field that is “more practical” or “will make you more money,” do what you LOVE so that you will LOVE what you do! No one wants to be stuck in a job that they hate, so prevent that from happening by studying what you want to study! If you want to be a doctor, don’t get caught up by the fact that the schooling is difficult, remember that you want to save lives! If you want to be an artist, don’t let people who tell you that studying art is pointless because it isn’t a “real major,” study art because that is what you LOVE! I’ve learned more about theatre in the past few months than I have in the rest of my life altogether and I wouldn’t have gotten that knowledge if I had just sat back and listened to the people who thought they were better than me because they were studying in “practical” fields. Yes, being in the fine arts is hard, but it keeps me going, so I’m not stopping for anyone.
Now it’s time to myth bust.
Myth #1: Your professors don’t care about you in college.
Fact #1: College professors care more about you than anything in the world. My religion professor told us to be careful driving home during fall break. The chair of the theatre department told us to come to him for anything. Don’t get caught up thinking that college professors are all pessimistic and careless. They are there for you.
Myth #2: Attendance doesn’t count in college.
Fact #2: If I miss more than 25% of classes in one subject I automatically fail the subject. It isn’t like that at every school but at my school it is a university wide rule, so it may be at yours too.
Myth #3: You’ll have a ton of free time in college.
Fact #3: This is a tricky one. There was a period where I was in rehearsals for 5+ hours a night so I didn’t exactly have that much free time, but this one depends on your major. Theatre and arts degrees require so much outside rehearsal and preparation that isn’t expected in other majors, but other majors need more attention even so. Just don’t expect to go into college and spend all of your time partying and hanging out with friends all the time, you will need to make time for school and then spend the rest of your time having fun and experiencing life in a totally new way!
Just a little about my photo: At Baylor, it’s a tradition to take photos with Judge Baylor, a founder and namesake of the school! This was me with Judge Baylor on the first day of school this year:)
Well, that’s all from me this month. Comment other myths you’d like me to bust or confirm for you! I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!
Peyton Wood, Distinguished Young Woman of Texas