"Our deepest fear is not that we are weak. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure."
My fiancé showed me this quote by revolutionary and political leader Nelson Mandela as I struggled with a big decision. As I read it, I realized how well this quote summarized my college career, which is now close to its end.
When it came to the Theatre Department, my strategy was to dive in headfirst and experience as much as possible. I tried practically every technical element of theatre, directed a one act and full-length play, and acted in various performances. On top of that, I took full class loads, wrote for the school newspaper and theatre newsletter, had two on-campus jobs, and participated in campus ministry. To say the least, I was busy.
It wasn't until my junior year that I finally started to say, "no." I quickly became burnt out of 16-hour days, especially when many activities I once found fun became stressful. I began taking on more technical theatre positions that were more flexible than consistent rehearsals. This also spurred an influx of people asking me if I could help them because I seemingly had more "free" time.
Jessica Karolczak '20
"There is so much life to live and so much more I can do."
Now, looking back at my abruptly ended college experience, Mandela could not have been more right. I was so afraid of reaching my full potential that I kept myself busy in order to have an excuse to give an average effort. Whenever I had an assignment or activity I was passionate about, I didn't leave time to dive fully into it and release my passion. I was too scared of succeeding and learning what I'm capable of.
Yet without all these experiences, I wouldn't have many of the skills and connections I have today. Plus, becoming burnt out taught me to do what I want and need to do because I'm only one person. This taught me that it's okay to ask for help and to let someone else step up to the plate.
Though I value my college experience and the many people who taught me, I have to disagree with the common phrase; college will not be the best years of my life because there is so much life to live and so much more I can do.
"You're playing small does not serve the world...As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." ~Nelson Mandela