After undergoing seven semesters in demanding programs, the Keene State College class of 2018 music, dance and theatre students are looking towards the future that lays ahead of them. As seniors begin their final semester at KSC, they reflect on what they have learned, the relationships they have created and their plans for moving forward.

For most young adults, college is their first time taking on a large amount of responsibility. It is a time to make mistakes and learn from them. Rebecca Wilber, who is a bachelor of arts and music major as well as elementary education, saidthat through her college experience, she has learned to always say “yes” to opportunities when they are presented. “Take every opportunity you’re given. Don’t say ‘no’ even if it’s a new experience, or if it’s out of your forte,” Wilber said.

However, it is critical not to take on more than you can handle, vocal performance major Amy Lesieur pointed out. While students should always seek out opportunities, Lesieur stated that it’s vital to be able to say “no.” “The most important thing that I’ve learned is that it’s okay to say ‘no’ to things. Like if somebody asks you if you want to be involved in this project that they’re working on for their major, it’s okay to say ‘no’ because there are other people out there and everyone has a lot going on,” Lesieur said. “Not overloading yourself with too many things is important. Saying ‘no’ to opportunities sometimes is okay sometimes, but it’s still good to take on things that are going to make you happy.”

Although Wilber and Lesieur have different views on the use of opportunities, both women can agree on the importance of making connections with people, especially the faculty.

Because of the difficult course loads music majors undergo, the faculty in the music department tries to be as supportive and helpful as possible, according to Wilber. “I’ve always been supported, especially at the Redfern. The faculty is on your side every step of the way. They are ready to individualize things for you, they’re ready to get to know you on a one on one basis, rather than just another student in the classroom. That’s one of my favorite things about the music department, we’re all family,” Wilber said.

Lesieur agreed and said how the faculty is willing to go the extra mile for their students. “I love Keene State, especially the music department. I think that a lot of our faculty is really good about helping because they know you’re graduating and that’s kind of scary.”

While it can be exciting to know that you’re only one semester away from getting a diploma, psychology and dance major Jen Riley expressed her feelings about leaving the college. “It’s sad. It’s gone by so fast, and every year has flown by faster than the previous. It’s definitely scary thinking about having to apply to jobs, and especially wanting to perform, and going into that field is nerve racking.” However, Riley remains hopeful about the future. “I’m excited for the semester and what’s to come.”

Graduation is often accompanied by a greater amount of responsibility. While approaching the end of the four-year college journey is intimidating, Lesieur explained the necessity of moving forward. “It’s kind of scary to think that I’m going to be in the real world and I’m going to have to figure things out on my own, but that’s how you learn. Not having people tell you what to do.”

Erin McNemar can be contacted at emcnemar@kscequinox.com