The Signal

Serving the College since 1885

Monday April 15th

OPINION: Passions often shift at the college level

<p><em>The College&#x27;s Tap Ensemble, performing for Homecoming, 2023. (Photo by Briana Keenan / Correspondent)</em></p>

The College's Tap Ensemble, performing for Homecoming, 2023. (Photo by Briana Keenan / Correspondent)

By Briana Keenan

Transitioning into and out of different phases of my life, I have realized that the pastimes I once saw as my main passions have shifted. 

In middle school, dance was my number one passion. I took classes in every style, stretched two times a day outside of dance and trained almost every day at my home studio for competitions and conventions.

In my sophomore year of high school, I realized that dance was something that I did not want to be as involved in because of my desire to pursue other newfound passions. Plus, coming from a single-parent home required me to carefully select where to expend our savings, and considering dance is an expensive sport, I decided to cut back.

I danced at my home studio through senior year, but I stopped classes in ballet, contemporary and competitive jazz. I kept up with my two favorite styles – tap and hip hop – and competed in those while having more time to discover my passion for journalism. 

I became involved in my high school’s news publication during my freshman year. I took a journalism class and became a staff writer, eventually editing for several sections and becoming editor-in-chief my senior year.

Journalism was such a strong passion of mine that I thought it would eventually become my career. My journalism teacher said that she could see me as a reporter for well-known newspapers and that I could really make a name for myself. I agreed, and applied to all of my college choices as a journalism major. 

After starting my freshman year at the College, I immediately became involved in The Signal, WTSR and Lions TV, primarily covering news for each of these outlets. I truly enjoyed it and was excited to further explore the realms of journalism and try things that I was not able to in high school. 

While journalism is still a beloved passion of mine and I am a writer at heart, I realized that this passion has also shifted and was something that I no longer saw myself having a career in. As a result, I changed my major to speech-language pathology and audiology and will begin taking major-specific courses in the fall.

The main takeaway I have learned from these shifts is that I can still thoroughly enjoy these passions, even though they are not as high up on my list anymore. As a college student, I am still involved in both writing and dance, though not as heavily as I was in my days as a middle and high school student. 

I am a part of the College’s Tap Ensemble, where I decided to keep up with my passion for tap dance and stay active. I still get to perform quite often and have met amazing friends through the organization with the same passion, though we know that dance is no longer as big a part of our lives.

Although I am no longer as involved in journalism, here I am writing an opinion article. I never thought of myself to be an opinion writer — I was a news writer at heart — but I have realized that I can keep writing in my life since I genuinely enjoy journalism.

The flexibility that the College has offered me with these different student organizations and in allowing me to explore new passions is something that I will be forever thankful for. 

I am not exactly sure where speech pathology will take me, but as I have with my other passions, I am excited to embark on a new journey and continue learning. My current predictions for the future and where I will end up working may shift, just as it has with dance and journalism. 

All I know is that I can continue to be involved in these passions of mine and that I will end up where I am meant to be in my career. 


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