A "Fresh" Start: Bridget De Maria

This freshman from Los Alamitos, California has taken no part in the "college shyness" students tend to go through. From being an active member in the ASCLUG Programs Board to already acting in a CLU theatre production, Bridget De Maria is diving head first into the CLU experience. This first-year student is a double major in theatre and communication, expressing her creativity in the Drama Department, Theatre Club, and Women’s Chorale. Staying scholastically grounded in the University Honors Program, De Maria finds enough time in her day to find an outlet for each of her passions and looks forward to guiding more freshmen next year as she takes on the position as a Peer Advisor!

Her Campus Cal Lutheran: What made you decide to be a Regal at CLU?

Bridget De Maria: After a long process, I finally decided to be a Regal at CLU because I was able to focus on musical theatre while double majoring and be in the honors program, which is not easy to find. I also really enjoyed the idea of small class sizes and the professors that really cared about what they were teaching. I also got some pretty nice scholarships which was nice!

HCCLU: Why did you choose your areas of concentration? What interests you about them?

BDM: I chose theatre for so many reasons and it’s hard to put nicely into words… it’s going to sound cheesy, but performing is a part of me and my dream. I think that it’s such an important field because it has the ability to inspire and change lives with art, which is often needed in a world where there seems to be a constant darkness. For communication, I wanted to choose sort of a back up plan and it seemed like the best fit. I did some event planning in high school and it was something I found myself to be passionate about and really enjoyed doing. The major here is also very broad, so I’m able to learn about writing, production and PR/advertising, which really opens things up, making me well-rounded and giving me a bunch of options for the future.

HCCLU: I heard you’re a part of the drama department on campus! What do you enjoy about this platform of performance?

BDM: I love our drama department for a lot of reasons. It has given me a home and has introduced me to some of the people I look up to the most and my best friends. Because it is so small, we all know each other so it’s kinda like a little family, professors and all. The size also allows for more opportunities performance wise and elsewhere, especially as a freshman, and gives us a place to be able to try new things and input our own ideas. I also really like the program because you are able to be involved with all the aspects of a production, not just performing, helping me to appreciate how much goes into a show to make it happen. It’s really nice to think about how much I’m learning and growing both as a person and as an actress.

HCCLU: How long have you been performing?

BDM: Well, in preschool my sister and I would sing with my dad at the graduations. Then in elementary school I had an amazing music teacher who would write her own shows combining a bunch of musical theatre songs to form a storyline which sounds wild but was very fun, at least for me, to be in. Middle school and high school is where I really started to get super involved with musical theatre and show choir and what not, and here I am today!

HCCLU: I also heard you’re a part of ASCLUG! What made you want to become a part of this team?

BDM: Yes! So this is my first semester on programs board and I love it so far! I joined because I love event planning and I went on the Telios trip before the school year started, where I was able to learn how I could get involved. I’m still pretty new but already everyone is so welcoming! It’s exciting to have a creative outlet on a large scale where you can help enhance the experience of students here.

HCCLU: How have you liked CLU so far? Have there been any challenges specific to CLU that you've had to overcome?

BDM: It’s been a blast, personally it took a few weeks to find my niche and a group of people who I really connected with (besides my awesome roommates of course ;)), but now that I’ve been able to form really great friendships and bonds, I’ve found that everyone has been super welcoming and encouraging. This is going to sound a little nerdy, but I also love how much I’m learning here… like last semester for example, in my honors class we focused a lot on the current state of the world and politics, where I was able to become informed at a high level which has inspired me to get more involved with that kind of thing and staying in the know. I also love the small class sizes and the care the professors put into their classes and students, which helps me to be more confident and actually share and speak up in class. The major challenge I’m facing is that because at Cal Lu it’s so easy to be involved in so many things (and I am one who has done so) managing my time with my procrastination has been a challenge, but it’s pushed me to get better so I can be less stressed and get more sleep so I can survive the day

HCCLU: Is there anything you liked more about high school than you do college? Vice versa?

BDM: In high school I was very involved with show choir, where we sang and danced everyday, which was very good exercise, and I miss having the time and opportunity to what I loved everyday. I also miss that family of people I had there, but I love the freedom here and all the different people I’m able to meet. I also really love being able to choose my own classes because they’re all so specialized and interesting.

HCCLU: What advice would you give to a high school senior getting ready to go to college?

BDM: Embrace the moments you have with your friends at high school, because things change, both for the good and for the worse, but they are never going to be just like how they are now. Be open-minded with colleges and do what’s best for you and not someone else. Get involved and find yourself, you will be able to find your people anywhere.

HCCLU: Besides any topic previously addressed, is there something else you’re passionate about that I haven’t touched on?

BDM: I could go on and on about the importance of the environment and keeping it clean and protected. but something that I’m really passionate about in all aspects in life is open-mindedness. So many of the problems that exist today stem from the refusal to look at things from a different perspective. Don’t get me wrong, strong opinions are very important and the people I look up to are some of the strongest people I know. And I know that no one is perfect, trust me in this regard, but conversation is so vital and important. Going into life with a closed mind is not how you learn or grow, and just creates more problems in the future. If I learned one thing from my freshman seminar class last semester, it was the importance of going beyond your comfort zone, which includes talking to someone with opposing ideals and trying to understand why they think that way without trying to change their opinions at first. After listening, you could be surprised about what you find out, or you could even lead to ideas of compromise and change. And just imagine that if everyone could do this, how much more accepting our world could be. Agreeing to disagree and compromise are how things get done, and in my opinion one of the best ways to do that is with an open mind.

HCCLU: Do you have any specific quotes or sayings that you like to live by?

BDM: I tend to stress and worry a lot so I like to keep in mind and repeat to myself that it all gets better eventually. I also like the quote, “Better to be the one who smiled first than the one who didn’t smile back” because it really emphasizes the importance of having a positive attitude, staying true to yourself, and not caring what other people think.