Cue the music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jK-NcRmVcw
But really, it's so crazy to think that it's going to officially over! Where did it all go? Who am I? What is this brave new world? Will I go to graduate school? Will I have the same existential crisis for the rest of my life?
But I'm also just being dramatic. In many ways it feels like I've already graduated. I've barely seen anyone from Otterbein and I've begun my life in Chicago as a professional actor and overall person. I also never really knew what this would feel like, coming to the end of my undergraduate schooling. In all of our imagination as humans, nothing ever turns out exactly the way we thought it would. There are times when it comes pretty darn close, but life is such a volatile thing that we can only hope our wildest imaginations come true, with no guarantee of any of it. I've imagined my life a thousand times going a thousand different ways, and here I am living a life that I never imagined, even in all the different combinations of thoughts that have crossed my mind. It's pretty close to something I've imagined, and don't worry I'm very happy with how it's going, but with each new step into my future comes a wealth of possibility and emotions and choices and obstacles. I'm enraptured with every new moment that I live, and I hope I never lose that as I grow older.
However, graduating is something I haven't really imagined. It's not a day that I've played out in my mind or thought of going wonderfully or poorly or any of that. It's just been a day in the future that I knew was coming. I wasn't sure how to exit. Now that it's almost here, I feel waves of gratitude for the things I've learned, the people I've met, and the ways in which I've grown. I mourn and fondly recall the days spent studying and living and figuring out how to be human with my fellow classmates, and how there will never be another day like that with those people again. Nostalgia is something I've always been drawn to, and as I ponder what the end of this chapter in my life is, it's become a dear friend to me. So much of what I have uncovered within me is because of my time spent at Otterbein. With peers and teachers and friends and mentors who poured themselves out and into the work of theater and the work of life, I am immensely sad to leave that behind, but also immensely happy to know what it feels like to be yourself, to be truly loved, and to be in a place you're meant to be. Thank you, Otterbein, for giving me that.
The changing of seasons marks the end and beginning of infinite parts of life. As I leave Otterbein, I enter into Chicago. I help with auditions and see some incredible talent. I audition and lean all that I can from each one. I become a yoga instructor and find a different kind of confidence I never knew I had. Beginning this chapter of my life hasn't been easy, but I wouldn't imagine it any other way.