I grew up thinking that I knew what I wanted to do. Even in high school, I knew I wanted to major in theatre and perform on Broadway. I got to college and realized that this was so totally not the case anymore. I felt lost and unsure of myself, even more confused by the fact that suddenly everyone else around me seemed to know what they wanted to do. Freshman were applying for internships and I was busy transferring schools, and I had no idea where to even begin. Every time someone asked me what I wanted to do with my major I gave them a different answer; I want to perform, I want to direct, I want to produce, I want to do public relations, I want to start my own record label, I want to do a wedding planner internship, I want to work in film, I want to work in music, I want to work in fashion, maybe I’ll go to law school. I was confusing myself.
Photo: King Lip on Unsplash
Working an office job increasingly seemed easier and like a more direct path. It seemed logical and practical. I found an old program for a show I was in in third grade that interviewed each cast member and asked them what they wanted to be when they grow up. Most people said they wanted to continue doing theatre. Some said they wanted to be Olympians to astronauts or dancers. Some simply said they weren’t sure. No one gave a mediocre answer, we all had big dreams of some sort.
So what happened to those big dreams and feeling invincible? Why don’t I dream of being a princess anymore? Well obviously because I’m probably not going to marry Prince Harry. But beyond that—why do we settle? When did we decide that something mediocre in our minds was worth it? Stability is more comfortable but certainly less entertaining. I talk to so many adults who have a different answer for what they do now versus what they wanted to be when they were a kid. Of course, life happens and things change and people are allowed to pursue whatever they want to.
But we must remind ourselves not to lose sight of what truly makes us happy, what we are passionate about, and what is going to allow us to lead a fulfilling life. It is important to always have that spark of joy in what you do.
My name is Meagan Donovan and I’m a 19 year old junior at Chapman University in Southern California. I am double majoring in theater studies and public relations/advertising, emphasizing my studies in the entertainment industry. A fun fact about me is that I’ve been performing since I was in third grade and I love writing my own songs, playing guitar, learning new dance forms, and acting in plays and musicals.