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Serving the GW Community since 1904

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Crime log: Subject barred after shoplifting at bookstore
By Max Porter, Contributing News Editor • February 26, 2024

Ask Annie: How do I manage my different activities without disappointing anyone?

You’ve got to get your head in the game!

Facing a problem yourself? Annie has answers. Ask away!

                      Graphic by Nicholas Anastacio

Dear Annie,

I’m caught between two worlds. I am involved in a theatre group on campus, but I am also a successful student athlete. My mom grew up in the arts and has always encouraged me to perform, but my dad is super insistent on me pursuing my athletic career. My teammates have been getting on my case lately about coming late to practice after commuting from theatre rehearsals on the Vern, but I want to give my all to both passions. How do I walk the line between these two opposite paths, while also appeasing my parents, my teammates/castmates, and myself?

If anyone cares,
Modern Day Troy Bolton

Dear Modern Day Troy Bolton,

With theatrical and athletic prowess, there’s not a star in heaven that you can’t reach. You, your castmates, your teammates and your parents are already all in this together. It’s not opposite paths, it’s your path.

First of all, let’s take the pressure off the situation. Do you really think you are going pro? Do you really think you’re going to Broadway? Maybe you are, and I’d be a hypocrite to criticize your big dreams because I myself have obnoxiously high hopes for fame and fortune in my future. Besides, it is possible. Actress Kerry Washington was an RA at Thurston Hall and a former GW baseball player recently signed a contract with the Phillies. But it is not helpful to think of your passions as leading to a future career. They may guide your choice, but you are not there yet. You’re in college. You are supposed to be exploring.

Second, are sports and theatre really all that different? Whether a uniform or a costume, a microphone or a football, it’s a performance, requiring stamina, practice and talent. Football players sing songs now, and actors have intense workout regimens. It makes total sense that you would like both sports and theatre. These activities create an adrenaline rush as you work with your teammates and put the way your body moves on display.

Your struggle is not walking the line between two different passions but your commitment. You can’t give your all to everything at once; it’s burning you out and may, eventually, sour your relationships. No one wants to feel like they are competing for your attention. 

Pick one to prioritize. It doesn’t have to be permanent or cause you to abandon the other passion. For example, maybe one semester you play sports while the other semester you participate in your theatre troupe. Alternatively, you could take a minor role in a play to ensure you can leave rehearsal early to make it to practice on time. Sure there are no small parts, but there are bound to be parts that allow you to spend less time at rehearsal.

You may have to outright pick one activity over another, but that does not mean abandoning your passion. Watching live sports and theatre puts viewers in the thick of the action and allow you to experience intense, cathartic emotions. Go to games and shows. Talk about your passions with people who like them as much as you. Play a pick-up game or perform karaoke. Don’t take participating in either athletics or theatre so seriously.

Whether you prioritize your compatible passions by choosing one or strategically splitting your time, you will find yourself relaxed, and your teammates and castmates will respect your ability to make a commitment. And, as for your family, choosing your passion and committing to one thing is probably one of the least disappointing things a parent could ask of their kid.

Break free,

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