An Anxious Girl’s Anticipated Account of the AfterMath

Rounding out my reviews of my classes, we finish with INTD 105: Theatre Therapy for Veterans. In all honesty, before attending this course, I had my reservations. I had no idea what the course would entail, and I left it up to my imagination to decide how good or bad it would be. Having only a couple days of class left, I think it is safe to say that my conclusion about the course is that I am happy I was thrown in blindly. As unfortunate as that may seem, I would never have signed up to take this class, but that is the truth. However, I am so glad that I was because I was opened up to an abundance of knowledge about veterans, specifically about veterans who deal with PTSD as a result of serving time in the military. Even though not everyone has a connection to the military and to the people who put their lives on the line to defend our country, I think that everyone should learn about the effects of war and violence on those who serve and how they can help those who suffer when they are living in the dark.

Professor Arena was able to connect stories told through Theatre of War and Act of War into the real world and personal stories that she herself struggled with, making all the more points about PTSD from the books real. Also, because there were moments when the books brought up uncomfortable and graphic scenes, those moments were the most important as they were untold truths. They were uncomfortable because they were events that no one ever wanted to discuss, but it was necessary to talk about them. We learned that learning about PTSD through the lens of these unbelievable tragedies and events created healing outlets for veterans who have dealt with similar graphic events and who found peace in communicating their feelings concerning stories such as the Greek tragedies. I am glad that I was put into this class and am grateful for all the new things I have learned, considering I would have never learned about this had I not been randomly placed in this course.

Well, it seems as though that is all I have to say, so this is the end of the Anxious Girl’s Accounts, so until next time, dear readers. Godspeed.

An Anxious Girl’s Account of Acclimating to the College Life

Well, well, well. Here we are, and here I am, surviving the first half of my first semester at Geneseo. Although every single second here hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows, I will say that forcing myself out of my comfort zone by moving to Geneseo and attending this college was the best decision I could have made. Before I moved, when I talked to people about attending Geneseo, the conversation was always the same: “Wow! Congrats on going to Geneseo!” To which I would respond, “Yeah! Thank you! I am looking forward to a change.” Perhaps it wasn’t that I was looking forward to the change, as I was more terrified than ever about leaving my whole life behind. Rather, I needed a change. I fear that, had I not left home and simply attended the community college in my hometown (as that was my initial plan before Geneseo), I would have been stuck in my little, familiar town forever. My world was small before coming here; I had the same routine, the same friends, the same activities, the same mindset, and the same feelings. Moving here opened my world; it forced me to make new friends, take on greater responsibilities (things my mom would have ordinarily done for me), figure out what it meant to be independent, and take in every new experience that came my way.

As for my classes, they have definitely become more interesting as time progresses. Calculus and Math Programming are my favorite and most pleasing classes, but that might not be saying much, seeing that you could quite literally place me in any math class, regardless of whether or not I knew what was being taught, and I would be content. As for Welcome Math Majors, although it is not a typical math class where we would learn mathematics, we are discovering more about careers in the field of mathematics, as well as the path to get there through courses and internships during our time here at Geneseo. Anthropology (though I had my doubts initially), became a class that I don’t completely dread; I’ve found that the more I engage in discussions during the lectures, (along with taking “pretty” notes with my fancy pens), the class quickly turned into one where I could find an interesting new fact within the hour and fifteen minutes.

Of course, I couldn’t forget about Theatre Therapy for Veterans. I would love to make a joke about how “I can’t tell you about how bad the class is because my professor is reading this”, but sometimes my sarcasm doesn’t come off the page right. Instead, I won’t make a joke and simply tell you how I feel about the class, which is nothing but good. First, I find the fact that Professor Arena is a veteran herself helps connect to the reading. It is difficult to capture emotions by simply reading it on the pages, like in The Theater Of War: What Greek Tragedies Can Teach Us Today. However, as the book explains the impact of PTSD on veterans, Professor Arena also explains to us her personal experiences having served in the military. This allows me to form a deeper understanding of PTSD and how it affects real people who are right in front of my eyes, such as Professor Arena. Then further developing into how theatre can be an outlet for many when healing. I am fascinated by each class as I learn more and more about Greek tragedies through the books as well, and I still can’t fathom the fact that the stories, in a sense, are mirror images of the experiences soldiers go through today. Again, fascinating is the only word that comes to mind when thinking about the stories and their relation to war and soldiers today. Although I didn’t choose to be placed in this class, I am glad that I was, and I am looking forward to learning so much more throughout the last half of the semester.

An Anxious girl’s account of her first weeks away at college

First off, let me introduce myself. My name is Lily, short for Lillian, who was my great-grandma. Let’s start with some basic information: I’m a Scorpio, my favorite color is yellow, my favorite ice cream is soft serve twist in a dish with rainbow sprinkles, and I wouldn’t say I like ladybugs. Fall is my favorite season, not because of the pumpkin spice lattes, but because I love the crisp October air. The sun shining through the trees as the leaves fall, the anticipation of Christmas, and the smell of cinnamon and pumpkins everywhere… along with a Grande Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew from Starbucks in my hand. For hobbies and activities, I love crafting and sewing, as well as lettering with calligraphy and cursive, so basically anything that allows my creativity to flow and to take my mind off of everything stressful that could possibly consume my thoughts. I like country music and have a soft spot for a good Taylor Swift song.

I am a math major because I love numbers and find it one of the most thrilling yet, at times, frustrating subjects. Math is so practical in the real world, which makes my options of what I want to do as a career infinite. That said, I do not believe I would have made it to where I am today without my family. I love my family with all my heart; my mom and dad are my biggest supporters and push me to be my best while being there to catch me if I fall. My younger brother is my best friend; I’ve always had him by my side. Clearly, you can imagine the pain of having to move away from all that I’ve ever known and having to figure out how to be on my own in a matter of four hours of leaving home, moving in, going to dinner, and getting dropped back off at my dorm. Terrifying is the only word to describe how I felt during my first few days at Geneseo.

Due to all of the college talk in high school, the immense amount of emails the college sends you, and everything all these random adults tell you about how it was when they went to college, you would think you would be prepared for the transition. They tell you what to expect in classes, from professors, the workload, how many friends you’ll make, and how amazing the four years will be. However, what no one tells you is how much you will miss your family, how hard it will feel at times to make friends, how uncomfortable you will feel in the bathroom or taking a shower, the anxiety of trying to fall asleep at night, the pain of leaving your entire world behind, and the burdens you’ll feel at times when you realize you don’t have anything familiar to fall back into when life gets a little too overwhelming.

While my first few days here were stressful, scary, and overwhelming, after my classes began and I was able to find a routine, I can say that my anxiety has lowered. Once I made some friends from my orientation group and more friends from my classes, the fear of being alone and not making friends went away. Once I figured out where everything was in my building, the fear of getting lost and stranded was gone. Along with this, I finally felt at ease once I met all my professors and understood what the class would be like. Those classes are Calculus II, at a lovely 8:30 in the morning; Math Programming, which is so fun when I have absolutely no idea what I am doing most of the time; Welcome Math Majors, Cultural Anthropology (which I have not found to be all that exciting yet), and of course, Theatre Therapy for Veterans, my most interesting class.

If I’m completely honest, I wasn’t all too sure about this class when I saw it on my schedule, as I didn’t know what to expect. However, I will say now that I have met Professor Arena and have discovered all this class has to offer, I find that not only am I going to be able to learn more about becoming a stronger writer. I am learning more about the mental health of veterans and how theatre can be a form of healing for them. I find this class very engaging as someone who has struggled with my own mental health and has finally been able to reach out and get the help I needed after living alone with my thoughts- in the dark for so long. I am honored to learn from Professor Arena about PTSD and so many other aspects of veterans’ mental health and how theatre is an outlet for many on the treacherous journey to healing.