After three years of attending Franciscan University I figured that I was prepared for anything that senior year could throw at me. Little did I know that this semester would turn out to be one of the most challenging but also the most rewarding semester thus far. Between my senior thesis, graduate school applications, classes, work, and household, there seemed to be little time left for much else. And yet somehow I managed to add one more extracurricular activity: performing in this year’s drama production, William Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost. I’ve always wanted to be in a play here at Franciscan University and have never had the time. So this semester I finally made the decision to try out.
Coming into this experience, I had no idea what to expect and was definitely a little nervous. Being in the play meant not only taking on a whole new challenge but also meeting and working with new people. I walked into the first rehearsal not knowing anyone, feeling very intimidated. The rehearsal started and immediately I knew that this would be an experience I would enjoy. Not only was the work fun and constantly changing and progressing but the new people I was meeting were so welcoming and fun to hang out with. As the show progressed rehearsals became harder and the hours became longer, but I never doubted that I’d be able to get through it because of the people I was surrounded by. After two months of rehearsals, it was amazing to see how far the show had progressed. As the show approached tensions grew, and I became anxious to see whether the audience would enjoy the show that we worked so hard to put on.
The evening of opening night was a scene of actors and crew members hustling and bustling everywhere, actors going over lines one last time, and the stage manager checking that everything was in place. Finally the lights went up and the show went on. Although the first show was mostly a blur, I do remember the amazing feeling of coming off stage once the show was over and celebrating with my fellow cast and crew members. It is a memory I’ll never forget and will truly cherish. I thank God for the new friends that I’ve made during this experience and look forward to many more good times with them. The play continued the next weekend with four more shows, each with their own joys and challenges. This whole experience has taught me that there is always something new and exciting to look forward to, and so I look forward to the rest of the semester with excited anticipation.
I’m Brian Robau, and I had a great time during my semester abroad in Austria. There’s something incredibly stimulating about traveling, trying new things, and going out of the everyday comfort zone. Maybe it’s the excitement of being in a new place, or anticipating the unknown. If there is anything that I’ve learned through attending Franciscan these past two years though, it is that everything starts and finishes in Christ.