Today is my "last first day" as I start the second semester of my SENIOR year of college. Everyone said it would fly by – I was not prepared for how quickly it actually did. On one hand, I’m so excited and ready to graduate. On the other, I will soon be done with the comfort and security of institutionalized education – something I’ve kinda gotten used to for the past sixteen years. I’m eager, scared, and very determined to make the most of my last semester.
This weekend, I was looking through some old letters and I came across one I wrote to myself. I was sixteen heading into my senior year of high school; the letter was a prompt given at Cherubs: Northwestern University’s 7-week summer theatre intensive. The program is a chance for young performers to decide if conservatory-style theatre training is the right path for them – that’s exactly what it did for me.
Cherubs was the most magical summer – I learned so much and developed relationships with people I still consider best friends. I lived out my passion for theatre from 8am – 10pm daily and only wanted more. Cherubs pushed me to make the scary leap into auditioning for BFA programs – it gave me permission to go after my dream. The intensive was illuminating and I am so grateful it was a part of my life. I would not be on the path I am without the summer of 2013.
Anyways, the wisdom from Baby Claire to Future Claire brought me full circle. This is my reminder for the upcoming semester. When things get rough, when everything is undecided, overwhelming, and scary – focus on the passion, the drive, and the growth. That’s what it’s all about.
July 22nd, 2013 (Monday, Last Week of Core Classes)
You have become so strong and motivated. You’ve pushed yourself in every activity and have become both physically and mentally fit. You’ve let down your guard and opened your heart to complete strangers whom you’ve barely known a month.
When you let go and throw yourself into something, you become beautiful. Never forget that. Always be fearless and never be self-conscious. You’re your biggest critic and it’s okay to acknowledge when you’ve done something right. Focus on both the good and the bad but make sure the bad never takes away the joy of your passion.
And that passion is here with these people, these activities, this connection. Always find a way back – these emotions are the most genuine thing you will ever experience.
You have everything to share and nothing to prove.