Who Would Have Thought I’d Miss Climbing That Hill?
Everyone has that one space on campus that is the ultimate definition of self care. For some, it’s Easton Cafe; for others, it’s Haber Green on a cool spring evening. There are many safe spaces on campus that I retreat to when I need to just exist, but there is no place on campus that compares to what Stiteler Auditorium does for me.
Before the pandemic hit, I had a pretty light schedule on Mondays and Wednesdays. I could fill my free time with meetings, or I could allow myself to have some “Courtney Time.” My favorite place to go was Stiteler. As an Acting major, I spend a lot of time in Stiteler for classes or rehearsals, but I never knew the impact that huge room could have on me until my sophomore year.
I would spend the nearly two-hour window I had to spare just doing whatever I needed to manage what the week was throwing at me. My favorite form of self care is to sing. It always has been, and I truthfully think always will be. Singing in Stiteler creates an almost out-of-body experience. It makes me feel like I am the only person in the world, and the only person I need to sing for is me. I would go into Stiteler and belt my face off. Singing in Stiteler was actually one of the last things I did the Wednesday before we were sent home for COVID. That final Wednesday in March of 2020, singing in that empty room, felt cathartic—I knew I would be back on that stage again one day.Flash forward to nearly two years later, August 2021: I have my final Monday and Wednesday class in Stiteler. It felt almost eerie to be in there, but I couldn’t wait to have my self-care space again. I’m in Stiteler a lot these days, practicing monologues, singing whatever Barbra Streisand song I can get my hands on, or just working on Under Siege/Cabaret things. I feel safe there. I feel like I never left. I love the atmosphere of the room, and I hope to spend a lot more time in my favorite place as my senior year goes on.
If you haven’t found your sacred space on campus, I highly recommend looking for a spot in Murphy. Being on top of that hill will make you feel like the only person in the world, and sometimes we all need a little bit of that.