As I near the final weeks of school heading into my big graduation date (Not May but June, I have to do Summer school because I took time off to do MMASM) I can not help but reflect on my journey through higher education. If you are an avid viewer of Make Me A Supermodel you would notice the Ballet Dancer label that always pops up when I speak but I am beginning to believe that a lot of you do not realize that my major at Temple University is actually not dance. My major at school is that of Strategic and Organizational Communications with an emphasis on Public Relations. I know say that Ten Times fast. Colin and I were the only two at the time that were actually going to school while the show was being filmed. For two guys in their senior year at college, it's a major decision to make to completely switch gears and change from what you've known for the past 4 or in reality 16 years to something completely new.
This brings me to the subject of my post. How long should you put off school to in order to pursue your dream or how long should you put off your dream to get that degree? I found myself asking this question when I was 18. I had spent the past 18 years realizing that an office was not for me and that in some form or another I was going to make it on a stage of some kind. I was determined to be there. The problem here was that it was 2004 and having a bachelors degree didn't mean as much as it used too. Everyone and their mother had one and now the master's degree was the new standard, so as a young kid going into the real world there was no way I was going to put myself at a disadvantage and not get that degree. This decision delighted my parents but at the same time I knew that if any opportunity came in getting me to my dream I would take that chance without hesitation. I believe that a lot of us who have big dreams spend so much time securing a back up plan that we forget what our passion really is.
So what is the conclusion that I have drawn seeing that in 1 month MMASM will have concluded and in 2 months I will have my degree? My conclusion is that everyone's journey to where they are going is different but the important thing to do is to listen to your own natural instincts, they have a tendency to lead you on a wild crazy path that takes you to mars and back and sometimes you wonder if you made the right decisions but in the end they take you to places you need to go in order to develop the tools you need to achieve your dreams. As I look back on my 5 years of 3 different schools, 3 different states, 3 different majors, 1 dream of going to the Olympics for Track, 1 dream of going to the Olympics for Swimming, 1 deferred year to train only in ballet, 1 impulsive decision to audition for Simba in the Lion King, and countless trips to New York in hopes of being signed, all the while trying to finish school, I realize now that my journey wasn't a sporadic web of inconsistencies. I see now that with each new venture that I have taken in my life I have learned a skill that not only helped in my progression on the show but added to my arsenal of abilities to which I can drawn from in the future.
So for me School coexisted with my dream. It nurtured it and provided a place for me to be while my dream fine tuned itself. School was the cocoon to which my future developed and I personally am glad that I took these years to finish my degree. I feel like I am coming out of it with much more than the average model or average graduate.
Now there are some out there that have found great success in the fashion and entertainment industries without even stepping foot inside of a university and those stories seem to actually be more common than mine but at the same time again I must stress that everyone's journey is different. What was right for me may be completely wrong for you so that is why it is essential that you listen to your instincts.