Tuesday, September 9, 2014


Welcome new students of Roosevelt University and welcome back to those
returning! It is a new school year full of challenges and promise. I hope
that all of you have enjoyed your summers and are invigorated to start
afresh this semester.  I know I am, and I thought I’d share a bit of my
story here.
I am a native Chicagoan, but have spent the last eight years studying,
working and performing in New York. To say that I planned for my life to
lead me back here would be a lie, but sometimes…most of the time…plans
don’t always work out the way we envisioned them. I went to New York
excited to leave my suburban past behind to take on the Big Apple with all
my heart, and I fully expected my career to take off so I could spend the
rest of my life happily flitting about Manhattan getting paid to do what I
So, yeah…that didn’t happen. And now that I look back on it, I wonder how I
even expected that it would. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of that did happen,
and those years were some the most transformative of my life so far. But,
as is often the case, I came to find one day that I had led myself to a
dead end. I was singing well, but not where I wanted to. I was performing,
but not getting paid, and while the people I knew were lovely, they did not
have the connections I needed to get me a step further than I had already
gotten. Oh, and I was working over 40 hours a week, singing in the
evenings, and I was living way beyond my means. Something needed to change.
And I chose to initiate that change.
Chicago was a place to rebuild-- my childhood home, my native city, with my
family and friends to support me while I regrouped. (Not to mention that
it is much cheaper than NYC!) So here I am, 
adjusting from being a 9-to-5 employee and an aspiring opera singer to
being a student again. It is not easy—there have
been many tears, and many times when I just wish I was back living on my
own and working, but I know that to attain my dream, to live the life I
want to live, I need to be here.
Roosevelt has opened its arms to me and has certainly made the transition
easier. The people and the general vibe of the place is warm and friendly.
I couldn’t have asked for a more inviting school to come into, and it is my
hope that you feel the same.
I know each of you has his/her own story. We have all come here for different
reasons and are at different points in our academic careers and our life
at large, but we are all part of the Roosevelt community.
In that spirit, I want to invite every single student, faculty member, or
alum who reads this to the Writing Center. I’ve only been here a few
days, but this is a micro-community within Roosevelt that embodies the
warmth and kindness of the school around us. We are here to help
you—whether you need help refining your thesis, getting your ideas onto
paper, or coming up with ideas, period. WE ARE HERE. This is a place for
anyone who needs ANY sort of help on their writing. It is not a place to
be judged,  but a place of collaboration so that you can articulate your ideas
to the best of your ability. I stress that whatever you are writing,
academic or not, is fine to bring in. We all are adjusting, moving though,
or soldiering on through this portion of our lives. Why not use the
resources available to you to make your journey a little easier? So, stop
by sometime, and we can help you make this time at Roosevelt as fulfilling
as possible!

All the best,
Hillary E

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