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  • View from the ArtsBridge: A College Freshman’s Advice on Relieving Application Stress

    Rebecca Chism
    Welcome back to our View from the ArtsBridge series, where we highlight the successes of former clients and ArtsBridge Summer students. We’ve found that college students have great advice for our current high school students on making it through the college application process unscathed.

    (If you’ve missed the last post about how to choose a college with Michigan junior Luke Steinhauer, you can read it here).

    We caught up with our former client Rebecca Chism right after the Super Bowl, which she had watched with her friends over Chinese food. She said it had been a great night (she’s a Patriots fan).

    Rebecca is from Canton, Massachusetts, and is now a freshman in acting at The Hartt School, the performing arts conservatory at the University of Hartford. When Rebecca first came to ArtsBridge, she thought she would major in musical theater, but we thought she was more competitive as an acting applicant. At ArtsBridge, we are interested in maximizing our students’ talents when building their college lists.

    When we spoke, Rebecca was in the Handel Performing Arts Center (HPAC), where acting, musical theater, and dance majors take most of their classes. She said: “It is also where we have rehearsal every night depending on what show you are working on. Students come in and out all day depending on what their schedule is like. Most days we start at HPAC and end at HPAC.”

    Rebecca said the best thing about college so far “is the sense of freedom that you get.” She also said she’s learned “how to handle new responsibilities and not put things off to the last minute, like I did in high school.”

    Check out more from our conversation with Rebecca below:

    What are you up to this semester?

    This semester I am taking Acting, Movement, and a Voice and Speech class along with curriculum required by the university. Acting students are also in a Musical Theater Chorus for one year, which I go to every Tuesday. I am the Stage Manager for one of the senior plays this semester called “The Time of Your Life.”

    What is your freshman year like at Hartt?

    Freshman year so far has been wonderful. I have really enjoyed it. I have made amazing friends both in my major and outside of my major. I have learned a lot just in the first semester. In acting class we spent time looking at the Stanislavski method, along with Adler’s work, and then doing a hybrid of the two methods. I had an amazing Movement class where we did Ta’i Chi, did some Laban work, and learned new ways of moving. I really enjoy T’ai Chi, which I had never tried before.

    Can you tell us a bit about your experience working with ArtsBridge college consulting?

    I started late in the ArtsBridge experience, [Rebecca started with ArtsBridge in the fall of her senior year. Many of our consulting clients do start then, although junior year is ideal] but I still was able to get all the help that I needed. ArtsBridge provided me with lists of colleges for me to look into, and check out the programs for, and also apply to. When it came time to audition, ArtsBridge even did mock interviews with me so I could feel a little more comfortable.

    How did your parents  feel about you working with ArtsBridge?

    My parents were completely lost when it came to this college process. We needed ArtsBridge’s process to help all of us out.

    So applying to college was stressful for your parents and for you?

    All I can say is yes. It really was helpful to have ArtsBridge there guiding me through the process and being there for me when I had questions. Halley provided a lot of information, guidance, and support.

    Did you participate in any of the audition workshops?

    Yes, I did one in Boston.

    You also attended ArtsBridge Summer before you signed on as a consulting client. How did that go? 

    Yes, I did. I really enjoyed the program. I enjoyed working with the different teachers and their different styles. It really helped me because I felt that I was guided by every single teacher who helped me.

    What were your actual college auditions like? Were you prepared?

    To be honest, they were a bit nerve-racking at times, but I was comfortable with the material that I had.

    Would you recommend working with ArtsBridge consulting?

    Yes, yes, yes. ArtsBridge really does help with alleviating the stress of the whole college process.

    If you could go back to your junior year of high school, what advice would you give yourself about the upcoming college application process?

    Don’t procrastinate.

    Thanks, Rebecca! We are so glad you’re enjoying your first year at Hartt! 


    If you’re interested in making the college application process as stress-free as possible, contact ArtsBridge. We’ll keep you cool, calm, and collected.


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