I was told going into Sophomore year that it would be the hardest yet. I organized my schedule and life keeping that in mind, not exactly knowing what the year would bring. In some ways, I agree. Sophomore year is hard. However, for me it was a year of growth physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. As I reflect now, I do so with a new mindset and perspective, thankful for all the experiences and people that surrounded me throughout both semesters. I find myself in a place of clear mind and intention, while still growing and changing with each day and each adventure.
During the first semester, life quickly came into full swing. From Dance Team to Department commitments, I found myself in a new whirlwind: confused and overwhelmed. I was blessed enough to be learning from professors and peers who were engaging me on a new intellectual level. Out of all of the things learned during this first semester, I learned to dance with my mind and my soul. In a sense, my passion for my art was re-energized and I was beginning to feel newly inspired both as an artist and as a human. This inspiration then transitioned into my second semester, where I took on three student projects and began rehearsals for the upcoming study abroad, Dance Denmark. Balancing rehearsal schedules with performances with practices – oh and with life in general – was certainly a challenge. However, it gave me a sense of clarity, leading me to discovering where my heart was being drawn to. With so much going on, I was slowly able to distinguish my priorities and desires, ultimately guiding me into my remaining two years at this university.
Though the easiest word to describe this year would be “difficult,” the most fitting would be “growth.” It may sound cheesy or cliché, but as I am back to sitting in Disney working for UDA, I feel like a new person – physically, intellectually, and spiritually. Perhaps it is the magic of Mickey or the lack of sleep from working two full weeks of competition, but the warmth I feel is something that I regard as peace. The rollercoaster I was riding during the year has still not come to a full stop, but rather than waiting for the end, I am now riding along the hills and valleys with the wind in my hair and sun on my face. With the guidance of family members and close friends throughout the year, I have come to discover who I am and who I aim to be.
As the summer begins to get busy, I plan on carrying and expanding upon this new mindset. From traveling to Denmark with OSU Dance to teaching and choreographing across the country, I am excited for what lies ahead. I am confident that my schedule will bring challenges, but I am eager to learn from these new adventures and use them as catalysts for new projects and endeavors. Furthermore, I am headed into these new adventures with an amazing support group of mentors, teachers, family, and peers – and the amount of gratitude I have for these humans cannot be fully expressed in words.