A blank slate

I’ve been at Geneseo for about three or so weeks, and honestly, it feels like I’ve been here for much longer than that already. The fact that I packed up all of my things and moved 45 minutes away from home in Rochester, New York, less than a month ago absolutely blows my mind. I’m not going to lie and say it’s been nothing but a breeze, but things are completely starting to fall into place for me here at Geneseo. Graduating a year early from high school, I was ready to get out of the place that I have always known and spread my wings to explore brand new places and experiences. To me, college has been a blank slate; it is a chance to start fresh and create the future you want for yourself.

To be completely honest with you, I made my college decision at the very last minute. By last minute, I mean the absolute last day that you possibly can. Decision-making is not one of my strong suits in life. I can barely decide what I want to eat for dinner when I go out (which I rely heavily on my girlfriend to decide on), what to wear in the morning, or even the college where I will spend the next four years of my life. Which, I do admit, is one of the larger decisions you have to make, so cut me some slack on that one. Anyways, I’d like to think that Geneseo caught my attention from the beginning. I’m a sucker for good views and scenery, and there is plenty of that here. I think that sometimes you just know something will be good for you even before you get to truly experience it. That’s the exact feeling I got with Geneseo. I was looking for somewhere that was a decent distance from my family so that I could easily see them if I needed to and a place that could end up feeling like a home away from home. After almost a month of being here, I definitely succeeded in finding a college that makes me feel that way. To me, deciding what college you go to is always partially a leap of faith. You never know how something is going to turn out until you try it and emerge yourself. I couldn’t be happier that I decided to take my leap of faith with Geneseo.

Within my first two days at Geneseo, I had two classes that I would’ve taken, cancel, and removed from my schedule; it was a stressful time, to say the least. All I could think to myself was, I am not even surprised this is happening to me, you know what they say, “Bly luck.” Luckily, everything got taken care of and put in order. Part of me ended up feeling more worried about going to those newly added classes, unsure of what had been put into my schedule. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when I found out I was going to be taking the Theatre – Therapy for Veterans class. When I read the word theatre, my first thought was that I am incapable of all things singing and dancing. Little did I know that well, I wouldn’t have to show my lack of musical talent, but that this class was so much more than I ever expected.

By definition from the American Psychiatric Association, PTSD, also known as post-traumatic stress disorder, is “a psychiatric disorder that may occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war/combat, or rape who have been threatened with death, sexual violence or serious injury.” In our Theatre-Therapy for Veterans class, we are learning specifically about veterans that experience PTSD and how the performing arts can be used as a therapeutic tool to help them cope with the pain. Mental health issues, affecting both veterans and humans across the world, are a genuine problem that has a big stigma around them in society. We normalize healthy mental states and easily forget that struggles truly do exist, no matter how minimal or extreme they may be. Coming from someone who knows a lot about the toll that mental health can take on the brain, I have a deep connection to that aspect of this class. I may not have been a veteran, I may not have witnessed war or mass amounts of people being killed. However, what I do have in common is the knowledge of what it feels like to hurt and feel pain. I am ready for the school year to continue and be in this class that I honestly didn’t expect to be a part of but am grateful for the opportunity to be here and learn.

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