Drew is a junior majoring in Film and Media Arts with minors in Business and Art Administration. As an LSU student, Drew is involved with LSU Ambassadors, and a part of the Freshman Leadership Council. This summer Drew served as a Parent Orientation Leader for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Drew is currently working as a Small Group Leader for the STRIPES Program, which is an extended orientation program for first year students.
I have always loved theatre since I was in the first grade. So naturally on move in day my mom turned to me and said, “Ok man, Act 2!” This was the realization that I was going to college and it was my time to be in the spotlight. For those of you who have had kids in theatre, you know that intermission to Act 2 can be stressful. Worrying whether the audience liked it or not, if they are staying for Act 2, can you save the show, and many more thoughts cross your mind. This should sound familiar to you, because I am sure a million worries are going through your head as the Director of this show.
The transition from high school to college is a very nerve-racking one, but the greatest thing about it is that no one has to do it alone. There are all kinds of people and programs that can help make the transition a smooth one. Students are just as nervous about coming to college as you are to let them leave. I was a very shy kid freshman year, and I swore that the scene in Legally Blonde where she gets kicked out on the first day would be my life. However, that was not the case. All the fears about not finding classes, mean professors, not making friends, and any other worry you or your student may have is not the case.
Scene 1: Academics
This may be the biggest worry, but maybe the most easily fixable. First of all, they have to find their classes! LSU Ambassadors will be at the clock tower the Sunday before classes start to help students walk their schedule so they know and are comfortable with where their classes are. During Welcome Week, ” Ask Me” stations are also set up around campus in case your tiger gets lost. Finally, there is the LSU app that has a map of the campus. I used this app on my first day and pretended like I was texting the whole time!
Now on to the classwork. If your actor is having a hard time connecting to their character ( or having a hard time learning the material) there are several things that can help them out. First off, office hours are a wonderful resource for your student. All professors are required to have office hours and I never regretted going to talk to my teachers about information that I may be struggling with. Also the Center for Academic Success ( located in the basement of Coates Hall) can help your student with tutoring, learning and studying strategies, and time management help. If your student is struggling this will be a great place to send them.
Scene 2: Health
What about health and nutrition? The producers of our productions (LSU) have already thought of that. At LSU, we have the Student Recreational Complex that has several aspects to keep your tiger in shape. Besides weights and workout equipment, they also have a swimming pool and several other sports courts like tennis, racquetball, a rock wall, and much more. Your student can also register for classes at the complex. They have cycling classes, kickboxing, and even street beats for your dancer.
Another great resource to keep your tiger healthy is the Student Health Center located on the corner of Infirmary Road. The Student Health Center is always there if your student ever has any questions about their physical health and mental health . In the basement is health promotion, which has dietitians to help your student keep a balanced diet while in college. The first floor is for physical health that helps your tiger when they are sick. They even have a pharmacy and specialty doctors to help your tiger get back on his or her feet. Finally, the second floor is for mental health. This floor contains licensed therapists for one-on-one or group sessions. I suffer from anxiety so this was a great resource for me especially with the transition. I also know people who have gone because of homesickness, breakups, or other mental issues that they may face.
Scene 3: Social
How will they make friends? This is a simple solution as well. The Office of First Year Experience (FYE) puts on a series of events called Welcome Week. They have events throughout the week and some events even have free food. You can access the full Welcome Week Schedule by clicking here. Attending “What’s the Big Deal about Jambalaya?” was a great way to meet out of states students and get a free dinner in the process.
Another idea that will help out with this aspect is getting involved. LSU has over 400 organizations that play active roles both on and off campus. Joining organizations is how I met most of my friends, and I will never regret joining them. However I have an older sister, who is 5 years older then me, and she got involved by working at a restaurant with a lot of other college students here in Baton Rouge. This is where she made all of her friends, and through those friends met the man that became her husband last September. Friends will come at the right time, and you just have to be patient and let it happen.
Even though the curtain is closing on Act 1, it does not mean Act 2 is written for you. New characters, adventures, plot twists, and the unexpected is what makes stories great! Your student has the resources to do great things, and they will once their story starts to unfold. The curtain is about to open on Act 2 of their schooling and you have been front and center for the performance all along. You have what you need to direct your student, so let them go on their own in the spotlight, and I promise you the show will end with a standing ovation.