Thursday, November 12, 2009

Ponderings from a Graduate Student

In recent months I've been approached by many students interested in learning more about the MFA program here at school. Having been a student within the department the last three years and now current MFA student as well as a school ambassador for the last four years, I'm probably the best person to talk to. I'm practically a walking billboard for my university and dance department.

That being said I am always pleased to sit down with students and visit with them about the program, how it works and all the benefits involved Recently I was contacted by a someone inquiring about the program and I had to take a few days to sit and ponder my response.

Somehow this person was interested in being a part of the program, but repeatedly exclaimed how they were tired of school and all the work involved. Jaw dropped and eyes wide, I couldn't believe this person was truly asking me about a GRADUATE program for their MASTERS and at the same time telling me they did not want to put forth the work involved. Perhaps she did not understand what a masters program entails...

This program has been a good swift kick in the pants this past semester. I have 12-14 hour days five days a week. There isn't a single night I go to bed before 11:00/12:00 (Unless I forgo homework to catch up on sleep) and my to-do list is constantly being added to. Weekends are spent catching up and working ahead to stay on top over everything so that when Monday rolls around I don't feel like the I'm running in circles without a head connected to my neck.

Now, when put into those terms you might be thinking to yourself, "Why would you put yourself through such mess?" A friend of mine recently told a story of her roommate who takes 2 classes during the week, does not work, has no hobbies and exclaims how she wishes she could do more but that would "stress her out." Excuse me, but in life a little rain must fall and you have to get through those hard yet stressful times to get to those good, sunshine days. It's the way the world works so put on your big girl pants and get over it.

Here's the funny thing, amidst all that has been going on I still love what I do. Love it. The friends I've made keep me laughing when I want to sit down and cry or pop someone over the head. Choreography helps me work through creative frustration and learn more about myself and what it is waiting to be discovered. Classes challenge me to do better and better to earn the grade, not just slide by. I love it, every little piece.

Bottom line is that whatever stress or busy time that comes my way is one more hurdle to challenge myself to reach my goal: getting my masters. From there? Landing a job teaching in a university. For anything you want in life, truly desire you have to work for it. So yes, I will push through the hard times knowing that in almost one year I will successfully have in my hand a degree that I worked for, that I earned and absolutely deserve.

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