In less than a week, my time at WVSU will end. But I’m not graduating this May. I’m not dropping out either. I’m transferring into another college.
When I first arrived at State in the fall of 2015, I wanted to study theatre. It’s been my passion ever since getting involved with school theatre during my freshman year at George Washington High School.
I learned during the application process that this university puts theatre in the communications department, instead of the art department where one would think it belongs.
Since that was the case, I would have to major in communications, take all sorts of media classes, and ultimately graduate with a communications degree with an emphasis in theatre.
On paper, it didn’t sound like such a bad program. I thought taking a film class might help with staging things for theatre. I even enjoyed the film appreciation class I took during the spring 2015 semester. However, I still didn’t like the idea of taking communications classes.
Like certain public figures, I believed that the media never covered anything fairly and was all fake news. I didn’t want any part of that, and it took almost two semesters to change my major for the first time.
I’ve changed my major 3 times while studying at WVSU: communications to criminal justice, criminal justice to political science, and finally political science back to communications.
I got involved with the student paper last semester, while majoring in political science. I saw the email announcing the first staff meeting, and decided to get involved because I was interested in being a freelance writer. I figured that writing for my student newspaper would be a good test to see if I could make it.
While a staff writer, I got a much better understanding of what it’s like in media. My old “fake news” view of the media had been changing over the years, and working as a journalist had solidified a respect for the press in me. At least for student journalism and public broadcasting.
When I changed my major for the last time, I thought I’d have it set if I made journalism my area of emphasis. The degree, my theatre classes and experience from high school, combined my community theatre experience would help me find a position as an Arts and Entertainment journalist, so I thought.
However, my true love was still theatre. I thought journalism was noble, and even and fun, but it didn’t give me the same thrills as bringing stories to life on stage. The degree I was going to be pursuing would help me launch a likely successful journalism career, but it wouldn’t help me get to Broadway, London’s West End, or any major theatre area, where my heart belonged.
Earlier this spring, I applied as a transfer student to, and was accepted to, both West Virginia Wesleyan College and Fairmont State University. The administrative staff at State and both other schools made the paperwork as painless as possible. I made visits to both campuses, and ultimately decided on Wesleyan.
When I move into the dorms at Buckhannon in the fall, I’ll be majoring in theatre, my passion, where I belong. But I’ll miss all of my friends and mentors here.
Brett Smith was a valuable member of the YJ staff but much as we hate to lose his talents, we wish him well.