Sophomore Slump

by Becky McGregor

Freshman year at Marymount Manhattan College was so incredibly exciting. Being in a new city, around new people, at a new school allowed for a constant flow of energy to keep me active and on my toes. Yet I never felt like I had full room or permission to grow as an artist. I never really felt good enough. Then over the summer I was fortunate enough to attend The Performing Arts Project. I spent many nights worrying that this would be another environment in which I felt less than. Instead, I was met with the most life changing three weeks of my life. I came out of TPAP feeling better about myself than I could remember; it was an environment where I not only felt valued as an artist, but as a human being.

Now I’m back in NYC at Marymount wondering…now what? I knew the adjustment back to regular life after TPAP would be difficult, but I never imagined it’d be this hard. I went from a year filled with new experiences that motivated me to reach for my most creative potential. I also actually had the time to pursue this creativity. Some days I feel as if I’ve lost all of the creativity inside me. TPAP nurtured me and encouraged me to be imperfect and to live in the failure, for it would make me stronger. But now, I'm back at a place that feels like the antithesis of that.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Marymount so much and couldn’t see myself at any other school, but finding the strength and inspiration I got from TPAP has been a challenge. My theatre department is very focused on product and places a competitive edge on everything. Of course these things are a part of this business whether we like it or not, but how do we remain true to ourselves as artists and humans in a world that has the odds constantly stacked against us? I’m on the journey of figuring this out every day. On the days when I feel most defeated, I look back to my journal from TPAP. I know that I am worthy, I felt enough for three whole weeks. Just because I’m back at a place that makes me feel less than, doesn’t mean that I am. I am enough, I will always be enough, no matter who says what.