Well, it’s about time.
This Saturday I will, hopefully, gracefully glide across the commencement stage and receive recognition for completing a great deal of work and study in the field of public relations & communications.
Because the date is gleefully looming above my head I am beginning to become sentimental & mushy in regard to my time spent with Oklahoma State University.
So, what does this mean for you?
Well, if you continue reading you will have the opportunity to visualize a bit of my college career as I attempt to paint you a somewhat detailed picture of specific defining moments. Married with this, you might also be able to see a little bit into my heart.
Shall we begin with the beginning?
The Memory of Water
Freshman year, oh my dear heavens. Nervous, excited, homesick and determined I walked onto Oklahoma State University’s campus with the intention of figuring out this whole life thing. Normally, freshman year is consumed with social outings and the beginning processes of group attachment and self-identity— however, I do not believe I was destined to do anything remotely normal.
Throughout high school I had participated in theatre & had fallen in love with a life on the stage. Although set on a degree in journalism & broadcasting along with public relations, my feet had followed my heart & I soon found myself standing in front of a call board. Auditions were the next day.
Immediately, I signed my name with my signature smiley face & raced home to scrounge for two contrasting monologues. Thankfully, I was able to manage to piece an audition together & the next day I was sitting patiently in a green room surrounded by people who would soon become my dearest friends.
As an eighteen-year-old, freshman, non-theatre major, I honestly did not expect anything to come from this particular audition, but I was gratefully & humbly surprised.
This audition shaped my entire college career.
A few callbacks later, I found my name at the top of a cast list as a lead in a six-person play directed by Matthew Tomlanovich. Literally leaping out of joy, I promptly called each person in my family along with a few of my dear friends.
Mary would be my first character to play on one of OSU’s stages & she was one of the most challenging, memorable & rewarding. The play was rated “R,” & included cursing, drinking, smoking fake illegal substances and undressing on stage—but it was one of the most beautifully & well-written scripts I had ever read.
This was the first of many challenges in my college career.
I had to stand firm in my young convictions & refuse to say unladylike words and participate in indecent exposure. Terrified with the possibility of being cut from the show, I awaited the decision of Matt and the head of the department.
This was the first of many answered prayers.
My concerns were justified & my alternative actions were approved. My heart was elated. I knew this was where I was meant to be & an overwhelming peace consumed my entire being.
From that moment on, I was able to work with an incredibly beautiful and talented cast & crew: Matthew Tomlanovich, Charlet Ringwald, Liz Tabish, Anthony Hill, Dalaina Chester, Brendan Stallings & Katelyn Andersen. As the baby of the cast, I learned from everything this cast and the director taught me. Each moment during rehearsal was a new experience and I absorbed any bit of knowledge & wisdom that was graciously passed along. I fell in love with these people & I am still in love with them, they each hold an incredibly important place in my heart & I respect each of them more than they will ever know.
But, what about college? What about classes?
Yes, I was enrolled in 16 hours & was balancing a full schedule along with the pledging process for Sigma Phi Lambda, all while attempting to construct some sort of on-campus friend network (the majority of the cast was on the verge of graduation & an impending exodus from the college town).
A typical day for me during my first semester of college looked similar to this: Each morning I would wake up and ready myself for the day, jogging across campus to arrive early to my 8:30 a.m. college algebra course. Throughout the day I would travel from course to course, attempting to catch a quick nap on campus. After classes concluded for the day it would be around dinner time & I would dart to either “The Little Bakery” or “Twenty Something” for a quick on-the-go meal as I swiftly made my way across campus toward the theatre. From this moment, I would spend my evening on a stage until 10 to 10:30 p.m. & would cautiously jog back to the other side of campus to return to my dorm. From 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. I would study and complete homework, then I would take a two to three hour nap and wake up early to study and prepare for the following day.
Needless to say, this was not a normal schedule & I could not have been more thrilled.
This first semester was monumentally formative in my college development & I have “The Memory of Water” to thank. “The Memory of Water” gave me the opportunity to continue to practice my passion & dream, while forming relationships that would encourage & inspire my personal development.
Although I did not have necessarily a “normal” freshman year, I would not have exchanged it for anything else in the world.