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What It’s Like to Go to a Very Academic School as an Arts Major

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

College is a funny thing. Many people in the same place are doing completely different things. Some majors are harder than others. Hard is also a very subjective word.

I decided senior year of high school that I would follow my passion throughout college and major in theatre. It was a very hard decision for me, as I heavily gravitate towards school, learning, and studying. Theatre is not that. Theatre is a different kind of schooling. It’s much more hands-on, reflective, vulnerable, and mentally taxing. There is a large lack of notetaking, textbook reading, and exams. Many people look at this and think I am doing something “easy,” and that I am lucky I don’t have to study and take tests. While the part about not taking tests and studying may be true, it’s definitely not easy. 

Being a dedicated AP student throughout high school and suddenly having no homework or notes to take every night in college was and still is such a foreign concept. On top of that, I attend one of the best schools in Florida for academics. All around me, people are checking things off in their planners with textbooks scattered all over their desks, ready to study throughout the night. That’s what I was used to, and not having that aspect of academics in my life anymore started to cause my mental health to shift. I didn’t realize how much I appreciated learning new things and participating in large academic settings. This is not to say I do not enjoy theatre as a major, because theatre is my passion, and I wouldn’t stop doing it for anything. I just needed balance for myself. 

This is also not to say theatre isn’t challenging enough, because it is. I love going to auditions and working hard to reach my goals. I think for me, on a personal level, it was hard to see people around me studying so frequently with many due dates, tests, quizzes, etc. I think it made me feel as if I wasn’t doing enough or working hard enough. I kept thinking that since I was at a huge university, there had to be other work I needed to be doing. Or I would create more work for myself to compensate for what I thought I should be doing. I have since learned from freshman year that everyone is on their own journey and that I am doing what I need to do to succeed, and I should trust that. 

I have now decided to double-major in International Affairs. I decided this not to prove myself or to load my plate, but rather to fulfill that little part of me that has been missing academics. I think that eventually, I will grow to see that even though majoring in arts is different, it will serve as a very important part of my journey of growth and becoming a better version of myself. I am very happy with this decision, and I can’t wait to see where it takes me. 

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My name is Ella Freiser and I am a second year here at Florida State University. I am a BA Theatre major double majoring in International Affairs and I couldn't be more excited to be a part of Her Campus! I am a part of some other organizations here at school including Seminole Tap Troupe, and DW Magazine. I always love getting involved and I encourage everyone to find that one special thing on campus that makes them love FSU even more! I love writing as I am a very creative person. I dance, sing, and act. I think it's important to use words to express how you feel. I love to read as well. I think it is important to expand your knowledge and interests as we are always growing! That is why I love FSU! There are so many opportunities to try new things, meet new people, and even start your own clubs. Some of my favorite things to do in my spare time would be running, going to the beach, watching TV and movies, listening to music, having dance parties, driving, and going to dinner! I love my family and friends as I would not be where I am without them. I also love making new friends, so if you ever see me on campus say HI! You can normally find me in the Fine Arts Building, Stroizer, the Union, or tanning/hammocking on Landis. I look forward to writing for Her Campus this year and can’t wait to share all my experiences with everyone!