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.