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Baby Steps

Ana Purchiaroni, C'23

On the Outside Looking In Blog

It is hard to believe, but already, October is coming to an end. I can hear the whispers around campus about Halloween events, big parties, and group costumes.

streetlamp-and-tree-600-300.jpgThis week I thought about how “Halloweekend,” as it is called, is approaching and I somehow still do not have a large friend group. However, I think I need to put this feeling to rest. The point of the blog was to step out of my comfort zone and make friends by putting myself out there. In some ways, I have begun to achieve this, and I should not put myself down for not reaching the goal when the semester is still far from over. Despite my feelings from the last blog entry, I have not begun to give up yet. This week I took my own advice and took my tasks one at a time. With each step, I get closer to achieving what I set out to do and closer to happiness.

I started with K-pop Club. After having had to cancel the last two meetings, not much has really been done for the club. No meetings meant no movement. I felt like it was not worth continuing since there had only been one real meeting, and not even since that was an interest meeting. Our first real meeting was attended by four people and was basically canceled due to low attendance. I had honestly lost hope for the club. Was it really worth all the hoops I jumped through to make it? Was all that work necessary if it amounted to nothing? However, something in me decided to take a small step forward and keep on working towards that light at the end of the tunnel. I reached out to the vice president, and we were able to meet up and talk about the future of the club. Really, it was she who encouraged me to keep going. She said we might as well continue what we started and after our meeting, we had come up with a joint plan to revive the club. This plan included a full timeline of events and dates for those events for the rest of the semester as well as plans to hang out again to get some supplies for our own Halloween party.

From then on I felt motivated to do even more for the club and began posting more on the club’s Instagram (@msmu_kc if you want to give us a follow). I found out I really enjoy creating graphics and posters for the club, posting about events, and making Instagram stories to hype them up. I made sure to follow a bunch of related accounts to start growing our platform and extending our reach. With a renewed sense of purpose, I was able to take more steps through the week.

The next one was the mainstage play. I’ll be honest, I had not put that much effort into the play. For the most part, we had just been reading our lines and just barely begun blocking (how actors are to move around the space during the show including entrances and exits). It did not make me all that excited for the play or that interested in it. I was happy to be there, but I was not fully present during rehearsals (sorry Dr. B). After the high that planning K-pop Club events gave me, I was starting to get back into the groove of theatre too. I started to put my all into the play. I read my lines regularly, studied the play as a whole, and made different acting choices during rehearsals for a more dynamic performance. All these things amounted to a better experience for not just myself, but for my cast and the director as well. There was a shift in my attitude and because of that I was able to put my all back into the play which I am much more excited about and ready to head into the tougher rehearsals in the coming weeks. Also, if you want to see the show it will be from November 10-12 (another shameless plug, I know).

Speaking of theatre, this week I also got to put my career hat on and did some hunting for jobs in the performing arts. I sent out many emails to theatres all over Frederick and cast a wide net hoping to get more information on marketing, public relations, and social media as it pertains to the performing arts. I did not think anything would come of these emails, but surprisingly many heads of marketing and media came back to me saying they were willing to help. This sent me over the moon, just knowing that my career could take off just from having these contacts. I have always thought of networking as a daunting task, but after the last two successes of the week, I was actually excited to talk with higher-ups and learn more about the field I am thinking of going into. As of now, I have already set up dates and times to speak with professionals and tour well-known performing arts centers in the area.

Along with the career search, I was able to do some soul-searching as well. While continuing to post on the K-pop Club’s Instagram and learning more about designing posters, I have really grown to love the idea of creating logos and posters as a job. Later in the week, my sister asked me to help her with a project, and just like that, I was able to create designs in under an hour that looked good in both of our opinions. Learning this about myself, I have added a skill to my list and have zoomed in on exactly the kind of job I would like to have when I graduate. If you had asked me before, even during the career fair, I was not sure where I wanted to go. Thanks to this upward momentum, I have a clearer understanding of some of my passions.

Clearly, much has changed from last week to this week. I went from being overwhelmed by the stresses of college to being excited about opportunities that you can only get when you are in college. I think the biggest change was due to two things. The first is baby steps. After taking a step of faith, not a leap, a simple step, I found that I was capable of taking more steps. I also took my own advice and did it by doing things one at a time. There was no way I could put all my energy into everything I did without first focusing on one thing at a time. Once I felt confident in the club and its activities, I felt secure enough to take another step and put my all into the play. The second thing was a shift in my attitude. After taking those steps, my attitude towards my goals changed for the better, being more positive and secure in myself I knew I could keep on going.

After having been defeated I want you to know that a moment of defeat is just that, a moment. Life is a rollercoaster, sometimes you are up and sometimes you are down, but you never stay in either direction for very long. Things will get better. Your moment of defeat will end, and you will have what it takes to keep going, and not just at a snail's pace, but a cheetah eagerly running towards the things you are excited about. Take a small step, start to speed walk, then jog, and eventually, you will run. 

Ana Purchiaroni, C'23