(All photos from the Carnegie Mellon University website)
Since the beginning of my freshman year, I’ve had the excitement of receiving information postcards and invites to visit different colleges. Things came from colleges that I was interested in and some that I’d never even heard of or considered. I started keeping a binder and sectioning off the things I’d been sent by cities, places like NYU, U of Mich, Columbia, and Carnegie Mellon being the top contenders.
At that point, everything was about those three schools, and everything local was in second place. Of course, things have changed in terms of what I want to do with my life and the degree I need for my chosen career.
The beginning of sophomore year called for some changes in what I saw myself doing, and the same went for the plan I had made. One of the biggest parts of that plan was what most people in high school have to think about as soon -or before- as they enter their freshman year: College.
I did major research to find out where my new dream should land. I scoured notable alumni lists and looked at acceptance rates, musical theatre articles, and compared all noted data.
I came to the conclusion I knew I would officially reach: I needed to go to the East Coast.
After sorting through my binder and looking at all the things I’ve received, only four states remained: New York, Michigan, Chicago, and California. I decided that I should probably keep an open mind about schools and not only rely on their notable alumni pages.
So when one of my top choices sent me another postcard, this time inviting me to an Information Session in Anaheim, I decided I needed to register for it.
I took the postcard to my mom, emailed my registration, and marked the date on the calendar: June 9th. I waited, researched, and prepared for the session, just to make sure I learned everything I could before going to the session on Sunday.
That Sunday happened to be today, and when I woke up I was absolutely terrified. I took forever to wake up, and then after that, I took forever to get ready. I got dressed, got out the door fifteen minutes late, and my mom managed to get me there 3 minutes before the whole thing started at 2. I started listening and paying attention to the stories of the students, the faculty, the administration officer. All of them added up to something very near my dream school.
My mom looked over the statistics and other information about the school that they provided us with and gave her silent approval of my interest.
The highlight of the program was when we reached the application requirements for applicants of the fine arts. For things like design and art, students had to submit a portfolio and a series of recommendations (among other things) with their academics accounting for 50% of their admissions decision and their talent/portfolio accounting for the other 50%.
My mom leaned over and said, “I bet you’re glad that you don’t have to do that,” to which I responded, “Just wait for the next slide.”
The presenter flips the next slide, and sure enough there it is. Heavier requirements for application, a pre-screening process, an addition. And the weight that academics and audition/talent had in terms of admission?
20% academics, 80% Audition/Talent.
This is when it all came very apparent that I couldn’t go in undeclared and work my way in there. I couldn’t just have it as a thing I used to do or a minor to go along with an academic degree. If I have even a smidge of passion for this, just that wouldn’t be enough.
I need to be Musical Theatre or bust.
So that’s what I am. The main things that I picked up from this session was that, and the realization that I needed to get my stuff together, and pretty soon.
I only have a year left before applications, and I need to use that year to my advantage. To prepare and inform myself, to make the best decision in where I attend college, and to create a plan and figure out what I have to do to get where I need to be.
This session was definitely a positive for me, through and through. I plan to attend more in the future, to learn about the places I want to go and their Musical Theatre Programs.
But for now, we dream. Of Carnegie Mellon, of University of Michigan, of NYU. Until we reach it we must work for it, and that’s exactly what I intend to do!
Hi guys! Thanks so much for reading my blog post!
I’m incredibly sorry for the delay, the magic of the Tony Awards and the fear of ruining them for myself on social media held me back from posting it earlier
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