I don’t typically like to talk about myself in public. I like to discuss theater things, make “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” references and act like an idiot regardless if people are looking or not.
However, when it comes to talking about my college experiences, I get self-conscious about sounding soap-boxy. This is my little forewarning when you read this editorial, but I mean every word I write. A lot of people don’t know this about me, but I actually applied to transfer halfway through my first year at Xavier University. I may lose some friends admitting to this, but I felt compelled to try auditioning for the drama program at University of Cincinnati’s College- Conservatory of Music.
During my first semester, I took Human Development and Learning from Dr. Zascavage. At the time, I was playing Tateh in the then solely Music Department’s “Ragtime.” After seeing me in the show, Dr. Zascavage came up to me and simply said, “Follow your bliss.”
Soon after, I learned that I had not been accepted to University of Cincinnati’s drama program. It was the best rejection I ever received, because with this rejection came the creation and support of my Xavier University family.
Every day I get in my car, hate on drivers on I-75 and walk into Gallagher Student Center, I am so grateful for the crazy journey my four years at Xavier University has been. It’s been a journey of finding myself and trusting that somehow this institution would pull through for me.
It’s been made up of numerous late nights in Gallagher Student Center cramming for exams and papers with my best friends, screaming my head off about waffles and milkshakes during Manresa and sleeping in the Newswire office when it was too late to drive home. I don’t think there is anyone else on this campus that should be
more thankful for this university than me. With the creation of the Department of Music & Theatre, the encouragement of Stephen Skiles, Dr. Merrill and Dave Zlatic and the support of my friends, I’m able to leave Xavier with a B.A. in Theatre.
I feel that my four years at Xavier are a testament that we never know where our lives will take us. We can try to plan our lives out step by-step, but there’s no guarantee that it will come true. Currently, I’m Princeton in the department’s musical “Avenue Q.” I tear up every time I have to say my last line, “Everything in life is only for now.”
The truth of the statement is so touching to every college student. I sound like every senior when I say that I’m not ready to graduate. I’m not ready to leave those that have done so much for me those that have become some of my best friends — and lose the ability to give myself completely to this institution. I haven’t seen Dr. Zascavage since my first year. If you do read this, Dr. Z, I’m happy to say that I found my bliss here at Xavier. Thanks everyone for an awesome four years.
Patrick E. Phillips is a graduating senior from Cincinnati majoring in theatre and English. He is the Arts & Entertainment Editor of the Newswire.
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