College Lessons: Semester 1

college

My first semester of college was such a neat experience, and I am just so grateful to have this opportunity to attend classes as a dual-enrolled student. Although it was quite stressful and exhausting at times, I am excited to continue working for my degree and getting to know all of the amazing people around campus. It is a bit late, but I thought you still might enjoy this post… These are lessons that I have learned from myself and other students throughout my first semester of college. Hopefully you find this beneficial!

Read the Syllabus: You can’t expect the professors to remind you about homework assignments or specify every upcoming due date in class. They provide a detailed syllabus at the beginning of the semester that contains a list of everything you must complete and when. If you don’t look through it, you will likely have a lot of missing homework assignments which definitely won’t help your grade.

Learn on your own: In two of my courses, there was not enough class time to cover all of the material on the exams, so it was extremely important to read and look over all of the chapters on our own. DO THE WORK! It was definitely not fun to be reading textbook pages at 1:00 in the morning, but it really paid off in the end.

Meet New People: The experience is so much more enjoyable if you establish a small group of friends to spend time with between classes. It is also quite interesting to learn about different people and their post-graduation goals, so talk to the person sitting next to you! Build relationships with other students in your classes, and you will have a much more enjoyable experience.

Stay Organized: I don’t know about you, but I get really bad anxiety when I try to keep track of too many dates and times in my head. I was, honestly, shocked with how many students didn’t have an organized method to group all of the day’s assignments together. Many people just scratched things off of the syllabus, but that means at least four important packets must be carried around everywhere (and not misplaced). It is also easy to skip or miss things especially when you’re taking multiple classes. I recommend a weekly planner or agenda!!! You will relieve yourself of so much stress…

Ask for Help: Don’t be hesitant to ask your professor or other students for help! My friends thought I was a bit ridiculous, but I got almost every paper read by another peer or professor before I turned it in. I learned so much more by taking feedback, and I was much more staisfied with my grades when they came back on those assignments.

And lastly… BE YOURSELF:

“Just be yourself. Let people see the real, imperfect, flawed, quirky, weird, beautiful, and magical person that you are.”

~Unknown

If you have any questions or things to add, feel free to drop them in the comments. Thanks for reading! 🙂

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This Art Form

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It is so easy to forget why you love this art form when you sacrifice so much of your life inside of a studio with your feet cramping, muscles burning, and sweat dripping in your eyes. It is so easy to forget why you love this art form when you think about how many things you have missed out on by not living a “normal” life for a dream that you may never even reach. It is so easy to forget… until you step onto that stage to dance for hundreds of people and hear their applause… until you experience an injury that prevents you from being able to express yourself for weeks… until you are offered a job contract that allows you to do what you love and not sit in an office all day long… until an audience member warmly touches your shoulder after a performance and tells you how grateful he/she is for sharing your gift…

The fact is, I hear negativity every single day whether it is inside of my own head or from other people expressing their personal unhappiness. I have begun to realize that dance is a mental battle, and it is something that continuously challenges people both emotionally and physically. I have known so many people who have stopped fighting for this dream and have had thoughts of “what if I didn’t, where would I be now?” for the rest of their lives. Do not ever forget why you started dancing, and do not ever forget that magical moment that lit up your young eyes when you discovered it for the very first time. Always remember the power that dance has to heal and change people’s lives, and never allow your current emotions to put out the flame that burns deep within your soul. Remain true to yourself, and have faith through it all.

No matter how defeated you may feel at times, never forget this art form… It is part of you. It IS you… Do you really want to let it all go?


I know that this post was significantly longer than my typical posts, but I just felt like the world needed to read this because these words have been lingering in my head for quite some time now. Too many people in my life have incredible talent, but they are quickly loosing their passion; I don’t ever want that to happen to me.

Photo credits: Richard Jean-Louis

Exploring Nashville

Despite the wet, windy weather that took over Nashville, we still had a great day exploring Music City. We visited the Ryman Auditorium (“the mother church of country music” since 1892), line danced, and experienced lots of live music. I am so lucky to have seen Preston James perform that night… He made Blake Shelton’s team on Season 11 of my favorite singing competition, The Voice! He is so amazing, and I am so fortunate to have seen this 17 year old star perform right in front of me.

Thanks, Nashville!

A New Perspective

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Looking back, I am so thankful that I pushed all of the hesitation aside and took advantage of the opportunity to choreograph HOUR LIVES. This experience gave me a new perspective of my role as a dancer…

*I realized that the dance is a puzzle and the dancers are the pieces. If one of those pieces are missing, the entire puzzle is incomplete.

*I learned that is very important to “sweat the small stuff.” Little details (like angles and head placement) might seem insignificant, but they glue the entire dance together.

*I found out how crucial communication between the dancers and choreographer is. If there is a problem, it is important to speak up so that it can be corrected as soon as possible. Sometimes, the only way to fix a problem is to change the next sequence of steps, and that is very difficult to do on limited time.

This was definitely not an easy task… There are many moving parts in a dance that all need organization and separate movements, and it was very stressful at times. However, the reward of watching my “vision” come alive was absolutely incredible. This is definitely something that I will consider doing again in the future, and I want to thank all of my dancers for being so understanding with me. You all were amazing, and I couldn’t have wanted for a better group. Thank you!

All because of a FRIEND

Cage

Knowing that someone is always there to catch you when you fall is assuring as life is filled with unpredictable roads and cliffs. With one wrong slip, you find yourself descending into a canyon of empty thoughts. When you finally reach the bottom, you realize that you are trapped, and you ask yourself what steps you should take to begin the climb. You stand there. Motionless. Suddenly, you are offered a helping hand… Together, you reach the top of the mountain. Together, you overcome all of life’s problems… all because of a friend...

Feeling thankful today for the

really great people

in my life who

encourage me to defeat the

negative thoughts that somehow

discover the way into my head. With the

support of true friends, positivity always prevails!

Honored

Despite all of the stress and pain that lies behind the curtain, it was such an honor to bring Swan Lake to that stage tonight… This is one of my favorite ballets to watch, and it makes me so grateful to be a part of it. I am beyond thankful to have been cast as one of the four swans, because this is an opportunity that I may never get to have again. I am so happy that I am able to perform this weekend and do what I love with all of these wonderful people… It doesn’t get much better than this.