• Kristie Taiwo-Makanjuola

LIFESTYLE: My Last First Week of School

Updated: Jun 9, 2019

#college #university #umd #universityofmaryland #collegeblogger

My last first week of school! It's crazy to think about how fast time goes by. I started at University of Maryland, College Park in August 2015. I was 18 years old, fresh out of high school, excited to be in a new environment and meet new people. Fast forward to August 2018, I am starting my last year of university. I am 21 years old and on the road to success.

THE PATH: I started at UMD as a Theatre and Psychology major on the pre-med track, two contrasting fields of study. My plan was to primarily pursue the performing arts and to keep medicine on the back burner as my "back-up" plan. I would tell myself, "If everything came crashing down, I would switch to medicine." Looking back this was a horrible idea and I quickly realized it. Although I was fascinated by medicine, I was not fascinated enough to pursue it as a career. The idea of pursuing medicine simply gave me a sense of stability. I knew if I followed that path, I would be guaranteed a job and source of income after school. Many can attest that this is NOT a good reason to pursue medicine and I realized this after my first semester. The pre-med track was tiring. Medicine wasn't my primary focus but I learned that if I was going to get good grades in the courses, it needed to be. This was very annoying because I had no plans to utilize any of the pre-med courses or go to medical school yet it required so much from me. I realized it wasn't worth it and decided to search for a new "back-up" plan. I contemplated between psychology/counseling, family science, sociology etc. and also learned that I was not interested in any of those fields.

Finally I came across Journalism. The idea of studying Journalism was interesting for several reasons:

1. The type of jobs associated with a Journalism degree were jobs I was actually interested in and could see myself doing in the future.

2. I was confident in my ability to write.

3. Journalism didn't only serve as a back-up plan but also as a supplement to my interest in the arts. Unfortunately, UMD does not have a filmmaking/production program. The program here is film studies, so I didn't think studying film at this school was going to be helpful. Instead, I thought it would be better to get hands-on experience with the cameras/videography as a Broadcast Journalism major plus experience in directing and playwriting as a Theatre major.

It was a hard decision to make but after several conversations and some thinking, I decided to apply to the School of Journalism. Thankfully, I got in!

Today, I am expected to graduate with a Dual Degree in Theatre and Broadcast Journalism next spring (May 2019).

SELF-REFLECTION: Adding Journalism as a major was one of the best decisions I made. Journalism opened the door to other creative interests I have such as photography, videography and blogging. Although it worked out, I think back to the times where I was fixated on having another major/back-up plan. Why did I feel like a back up plan was absolutely necessary? The performing arts is a cutthroat industry and a job isn't guaranteed and I was aware of that. However, I think it came down to not being confident/having faith in God, myself and my craft. I let my fear of not succeeding in life take away from focusing and dedicating time to my craft. Once I realized how toxic this was, I tried to direct that energy towards my craft. Since then, I have grown immensely as a creative artist. I am much more confident in myself, my craft and my ability to succeed. I continue to push myself out of my comfort zone for my own benefit and I am dedicated more than ever.


I am looking forward to this school year because I plan to soak up every moment of my final year with my friends and loved ones. I also plan to continue to push myself out of my comfort zone both in and out of the classroom. The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center has served as my safe space for the past few years. A space where I can comfortably execute my ideas, ask for help, and even make mistakes.

After college, I will be entering "the real world." Will there be a safe space similar to The Clarice? Will I be able to comfortably make mistakes and exit my comfort zone? I am not too sure.

During the school year I tend to be extremely busy. Since sophomore year I have successfully completed 21 credits every semester in order to graduate on time. However, due to my semester abroad last spring, I needed to enroll in 24 credits (2 of which are for an internship). I know I am going to be extremely busy but I plan to make time for myself, my friends, my craft and mental health. With that being said, I plan to minimize procrastination and stay as organized as possible. It is gonna be a hectic semester but God willingly I will succeed. I am more than ready to tackle the new school year. Hope you are as well!

How are you feeling in terms of the new school year? What are you looking forward to? What goals have you set for yourself? I want to hear them so make sure to sound off in the comments section below! May the year be great to all of us!

Much Love,

-Kris x

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