As all of you probably know, I didn’t choose the traditional path after high school graduation. Instead of attending college, I chose to go straight to pursuing my dream of working in the dance/tv/film industry.
It’s funny how our society almost frowns upon those who don’t go to college. Every time I see someone I haven’t seen in a while, they ask “So where do you go to school?” and when I reply “I don’t,” there’s always this awkward linger of silence. Nobody really knows what to say. And maybe it's because I was a good student in high school, that the expectation is there. Regardless, deciding NOT to go to college after high school may be the road less traveled...but it was definitely the right path for me.
Making the decision:
My parents, thankfully, are so incredibly supportive and have always pushed us to do what makes us happiest and follow our dreams. Having that kind of support and encouragement made my decision so much easier. I didn’t feel like I would be letting them down by not going to college. They also have always preached to us that, “you can always go back to school later, but you can’t always dance” which is true. My body will only be physically able to do what I love for a certain amount of time and I need to take advantage of that.
I also grew up traveling the country for dance and meeting so many amazing people along the way. I’ve explored so many cities and have seen so many things, that I fell in love with traveling. I didn’t want to be confined to one area for a few years of my life. For me, a college campus is fun for a weekend or two, but there’s so much out there to see and do, I wanted the freedom to explore and experience! I love adventure, trying new things, taking risks, and the thought of being independent excited me. Dance jobs can take you anywhere in the world. To travel while also doing what I love, well, that is all I could ask for. In the dance industry, most of the action happens in NYC or LA. I have wanted to move to LA since the first time I visited at 13 years old! LA was always the “campus” I saw myself on and those dance studios my classrooms. Plus, the dance community is absolutely amazing and is an environment I would thrive in the most. My older sister moved to LA to dance and was so happy with her decision. Watching her accomplish things that I wanted to accomplish some day was a huge motivation for me.
I think college is great for people who love school and know what they want to do. That is just not the case for me. :) LOL. I don’t know what area of academic study I would want to pursue if I went to college right now. It is a huge expense and without knowing what I would want to study, it just didn’t make sense. So many people go right out of high school and either spend extra time and money changing majors or end up graduating and not working in the area they got their degree in because they ended up not liking it. I am not ruling out school some day, but for now, I know what I love and I plan on “studying” and learning as much as I can about my career through life experiences.
Let me say, even though I always knew I wasn’t going to go to college, it has been very strange and hard over the past two years with Covid, watching all of my friends go off and live new lives while I’ve been at a complete standstill. For so long, the entertainment industry was on a complete hold yet my friends were still moving on. I struggled with my plan being on hold, but tried to use that time to prep for what was coming next by taking as many acting, dance and singing classes as I could (see...still studying...just in a different way!) I’m excited things are picking up again and excited to share what’s next for me!
If you take anything away from this blog, I guess I would just encourage you to always follow your heart and your dreams no matter what society says. If college is your dream, GO FOR IT! If traveling the world is your dream, GO FOR IT! If opening your own boutique is your dream, GO FOR IT! No matter what, do what you want to do for YOU, not anybody else! And if anyone out there chose a “path less traveled,” in any aspect of life, I’d love to hear your story!!!