Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Feels Like Never

This semester marks the beginning of my seventh year of college.

For those of you who don't know the story, here's my experience thus far:

I began at the University of Arizona in 2005. I had average grades in high school, so I didn't really think to apply to any other schools because I figured I wouldn't get in. I also had zero faith in my dance/choreographic abilities at the time, so I chose not to apply to dance programs, either. So I went to the U of A and declared myself an anthropology major. It took me three years there to come to the conclusion that it wasn't the right place for me. I also spent some of that time applying to Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle...but that is a WHOLLLLE other story, believe me. (I'd need a strong drink in my hand to tell you about that debacle!) Once I got into some of the core coursework for my major, it occurred to me that I was treating college like a hobby. I love anthropology, but I had no intention of being solely an anthropologist. My career path has ALWAYS pointed to dance, and studying anything else in college was just silly.

So I made the somewhat bold decision to drop out of the U of A and transfer somewhere else to get my BFA in Dance. After much research, I narrowed it down to four programs: New York University, The Boston Conservatory, Elon University, and Arizona State University. ASU was originally my last choice, because native Tucsonans like me are basically raised to hate Phoenix and ASU. But once I applied and went there to audition, I knew it was the right place for me. It's contemporary-based, and very kooky--just like me. I was accepted, moved to Tempe, and began classes in Fall 2008. I was basically starting as a freshman all over again, but I didn't care because I was finally doing what I wanted. Additionally, I discovered the vibrant theater scene in Phoenix and began getting involved in that.

In Spring 2009, I started getting sick. It began with chronic fatigue and snowballed into a severe depression that took me two years to get over, and one of those years was spent on medical withdrawal from school because I could no longer make it to classes. So that prolonged finishing my degree even more. I went back to school full time in Fall 2011, and was able to complete my senior capstone project with my class, even though I wasn't going to be graduating with them. (And let me tell you, watching them graduate without me was very difficult.)

So that brings us to where I am now. Seven years later, STILL IN SCHOOL.

I met with my advisor today, and discovered that next semester I will have to have 19 credits on my schedule to graduate in the Spring. Even if I could handle that course load, I wouldn't be able to get an overload approval because my GPA isn't high enough. So I guess I'll be graduating in December 2013 now instead of the Spring???? I don't fucking know.

Another thing standing in my way is performance credit. I am required to be cast in and perform in three pieces choreographed by either grad students, faculty, or seniors choreographing their capstone projects. I have only been cast in two qualifying pieces since I started at ASU, one of which I didn't get credit for because my health issues got in the way of filing necessary paperwork in time. I signed up to be considered for a couple of pieces this semester, but I couldn't dance in the actual audition because I had twisted my ankle in class earlier. But the choreographers I signed up for had seen me dance previously, so I thought maybe I had a chance. Well, I didn't get cast in anything. So how exactly am I supposed to get performance credit if no one casts me in their fucking pieces??! Not that I blame them. My technique isn't up to par because I was on medical withdrawal for so long, and my health problems also caused me to put on weight. I wouldn't cast me in a piece, either...after all, no one wants a chubby, mediocre dancer to perform their choreography.

The performance credit thing is just one of many roadblocks that won't stop popping up. I don't know how much more I can take. I'm so tired of being in school. I'm 25 and STILL chipping away at a bachelor's degree, while most of my friends have graduated and have moved onto grad school or started their careers. In fact, I'm older than most of the fucking grad students here. And people look at me funny and ask, "Didn't you graduate already?" Um, no. I may have gotten my capstone project done, buuuut I'm still here. It's so embarrassing.

I feel like I'm NEVER EVER GOING TO GRADUATE. I really don't know what to do anymore......

1 comment:

  1. so stop with school. tell it to F off and go DO IT. rack up experience, get back to where you want to be mentally and physically and maybe finish later when you have your ducks in a row.

    Who needs a degree now anyways? Especially in skilled industries like mine and yours. Auditions and portfolios do all the work. My degree has never left the paper envelope it was mailed to me in. Ever.

    Real talk.