Getting into college was a huge step in my life. I got deferred, which wrecked my self-esteem, but then when I got in it was like all my negative ideas about myself were blown away for a second. I did something right. I often get told that I’m talented, because there are a lot of different things that I like to do, but still have a really hard time believing anything positive about myself.
When I actually came to college there was so much I wanted to try, but I was a mildly talented fish in a huge, highly competitive theater, art, singing, and whatever else ocean. For anything I wanted to do, anything I was certain I was good at from years of training and positive reinforcement, there were four other people who had dedicated their lives to whatever it was, waiting to take a place in highly exclusive groups away from me.
I auditioned for eleven different things my first week and got into two of them. And whenever I did get into something, I would rationalize that it was a bad quality group or they just needed one extra head because not enough good people auditioned. It took me a long time to take pride in my acceptances and my rejections, and to realize that despite what people have told me, there’s more to me than my acting or singing ability. There will always be people more talented than me and groups I don’t make it into, but my happiness is more important than striving for excellence or acceptance.