I was always a drama kid. I was writing my own plays, I got a playwriting award, I was in drama club. I was drama club. After graduating high school, it was only natural I applied to theatre production programs. So, come fall 2017, there I was, ready to start my college experience at a different college.
I made it nine days.
The morning of the ninth day, my dad drove me to school. He parked out front in his big white mechanic’s truck, me tucked into the passenger seat, and I broke down crying. I wanted to quit. I didn’t see myself doing this for the rest of my life. I told him I wanted to leave.
He said: “Then leave.”
It was a good program —everyone was very kind and all the teachers were very supportive— it just wasn’t a good fit. I’ve always had a Type A personality. I’ve always been an overachiever. Ever since high school it was always GO GO GO. I wasn’t ready for post-secondary. Nine days in, and I was already burnt out.
I hid in the library for the rest of the day. Eventually, I cracked open my laptop and, for some reason, I googled “college creative writing programs.” That’s how I found the program I’m in now, how I ended up leaving my first attempt at a college after only nine days.
Nine days of anything —when you’re that stressed— is hell.
I did end up taking a year off. I didn’t work, I didn’t go to school. It was a very difficult year, but going through all that, it really made me able to better appreciate where I am now. Now, I wake up in the morning and I’m happy to go to class. I took that for granted before.
I’m entering into my fourth and final year of Sheridan’s Creative Writing & Publishing Program, and my Type A personality and me have crafted a 5 Year Plan. I want to shift the way people learn and what they learn.
This wasn’t part of my original plan, and if high school drama nerd me could see herself now, she would be shocked. But she’d also be impressed.
(Interviewed and written by Eugénie Szwalek; photo provided by the interviewee)