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Jennifer Dramatic ArtsSilly punning aside, I am pleased to announce the most recent addition to my path of study — the dramatic arts! After an entire semester’s worth of soul-searching and feeling like I spent more time thinking in circles than actually taking any decisive action, I finally decided to add a major in the USC School of Dramatic Arts.

I guess I should explain why it took me so long to finally add the major since I’ve loved theater virtually all my life. I came into college with the notion that I could pretty much double major in whatever I wanted, completely oblivious to the fact that, yes, some majors require more units than others to complete.

My dream was to double major in English and Theater with a minor in Screenwriting. I eventually learned that I would not be able to complete this particular double major and minor combo in a regular four-year schedule — around the same time I started getting asked questions such as: “Wow, English and Theater? That’s brave. What do you want to do with that?”

That’s when I started to panic. Perhaps I was making a mistake in pursuing the arts and humanities. I certainly didn’t want to wind up a “starving artist,” as some people warned me I could. So, I decided I would pursue something more “sensible” in addition to theater.

Until that didn’t add up either. I was so set on International Relations for a while that I nearly forfeited my original intention to include theater as a major… and then I realized something. The more I tried to separate theater from my studies, promising myself I’d always try to do shows on the side, the more it clung to me, calling to me with its siren song, and I knew my efforts would be futile. Already my deep passion for the dramatic arts had been reawakened by my Acting 101 class, and I knew that I couldn’t give up theater any easier than I could sever any other integral component of my identity.

Because I wouldn’t be able to pursue a dual degree in Theater and International Relations with a normal four year schedule either, I finally decided on Political Science and Theater. This way, I would be able to incorporate my love of politics and national affairs into my education as well, a passion which was sparked during my senior year after a semester of AP US Government and Politics. I really feel this is the perfect combination for me, since Political Science will allow me to put my love of critical analysis and words to use, and I am currently undecided between pursuing a government career and the life of a theater actress. No matter what I eventually choose, both majors foster the sort of examination of human experience which will enrich any career.

Overall, I feel I really learned an important lesson during this semester-long journey: there’s no use trying to suppress your passion. If you really love something, there is no escape, and it will only haunt you later that you didn’t pursue your dreams. You only get one undergraduate experience, so you might as well make the most of it. A Bachelor’s Degree is a Bachelor’s Degree, and college is the time to explore and develop a true thirst for learning. Worry about the specializing later when you’re applying for internships and grad school.

Above all, I’ve learned not to worry about what other people say. Sure, I doubt I’ll go on to become a doctor with my degree, but that’s simply because that’s not my calling. If I wanted to, I could certainly work a pre-med emphasis in there. I won’t let anyone’s perceptions of what is and what isn’t a proper degree hold me back from my dreams, and I couldn’t be happier to attend a school which truly fosters this mindset.

Fight on, and Happy Holidays, everyone!

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