After the stress of finals in May, it’s easy for students to forget their worries and just want to relax at home. However, a few intrepid people used the warmer months to gain experiences they will be talking about for years to come.
Senior marketing major Chester Williams did a multi-state musical tour via Megabus. He started off May 10 in Philadelphia.
He stuck to the basics stating that, “I just had an acoustic guitar and a bag, basically.”
Williams avoided having to sleep in bus terminals by staying with individuals he had met in the past.
“I was lucky enough to know all the people,” Williams said.
Williams said that while doing a CD release show in February, he connected with a Pittsburgh band called Legs Like Tree Trunks. He agreed to add them to the bill if they secured him a gig when he visited their town.
That is exactly what they did when he made the Steel City the first stop of his tour. He said there were more than 100 people and free pizza was provided for all. From there, he headed to Ohio, then south to Tennessee.
“Nashville was pretty awesome. I kind of want to live there now,” Williams said.
While in Tennessee, he visited the popular music and arts festival called Bonnaroo. This year, the event sold out of all 80,000 tickets to fans from all throughout the world. However, Williams ensured himself a special experience by donating his time to the popular, multi-day event.
“I actually volunteered there pre-festival. I had the entire festival for free. I worked in the VIP section, laying down mulch and basically catering to rich people,” he said with a laugh.
Williams wasn’t the only student who left city limits, though. Sophomore theater major Anna Snapp had the opportunity to study Shakespeare in London. She spent two months enrolled at The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
“That was his stomping ground. I felt like I was in a really authentic place,” Snapp said about her choice of locale.
“It was so rewarding going there and being around people who love the same thing as me,” she added.
Snapp said that she enjoyed her particular choice of study because Shakespeare would put everything an actor needed on the page. He would create the whole experience, from rhythm of the lines to expressing what an actor was supposed to feel through the words being said.
“You never have to over-embellish Shakespeare. It was a big joy for actors back in the day because he would give you everything you needed,” Snapp said.
Although it was her first time going overseas, it certainly won’t be her last.
“It really was a fantastic experience while I was there,” Snapp said. “I didn’t get a chance to travel to other countries but I’m hoping that because my trip was cut short from being sick that I can go back.”
While Snapp and Williams were traveling to exciting places, one individual exposed herself to new things without even leaving the state.
Sophomore speech pathology major Grace Phillips made a unique addition to her résumé, while spending time with furry and winged creatures. She did a full-time, paid internship for Aark Foundation Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center.
“Only 15 students who applied for the internship got it. I’m not sure how many people interviewed but they couldn’t interview me until three weeks later,” Phillips said about the competitiveness of the opportunity.
Although the program was outside of her specific academic field, Phillips was still able to get a rewarding experience out of her three months spent at Aark.
“It was really exciting and I got to learn about communication in the workplace,” she said.
Phillips added that her favorite part of the internship was found by connecting with the younger critters.
“Getting baby animals and nursing them back to health was one of the more incredible experiences,” she said.
This was Phillips’ first internship, and although it was rewarding, she hopes her next one is more related to her major.
But, Phillips said, “It was a great way to spend my time. I would definitely do something like this again.”
Christina Morgeneier can be reached at email@example.com.