Two careers, worlds apart, stand in my mind and contend for my future: first, medicine, a career for the puzzle-solver, the scientific research-oriented intellectual; second, theater criticism, an occupation combining the art of the stage with the beauty of language. Being a doctor would nearly ensure employment and arguably have a greater impact on humanity. But to spend evenings watching plays and nights translating the performances to reviews bringing the reader into the theater would be a life spent living my dream. Neither job would ever have a dull moment, and both jobs would fully engage my thoughts. As the future comes hurtling towards me, the question of which path to choose looms ever larger.
For years, I envisioned pursuing medicine as the expressway to becoming a minor superhero. I could travel the world, healing impoverished children and delivering desperately needed vaccines to rural third-world villages, and in my spare time I might cure cancer. This way I could save the world on both micro and macro levels, by connecting with individuals in need of a doctor as well as by finding the solution to diseases plaguing mankind.
While this vision thrived in the back of my mind, a new opportunity came to my attention. The graduating class of 2013 left four choice seats open on the esteemed Cappie critic team, and I was determined to combine my love of academia with my passion for theater to seize one of the positions. My fascination with Cappies snowballed from that point onward, with my elation at landing a spot on the team only surpassed by my excitement for attending my first show, and soon I was cramming as many shows into my schedule as possible.
Unexpectedly, I found myself at a crossroads. A life spent as a doctor would ensure abysmal student debt just as much as it would promise a paycheck, and while it could prove difficult to secure a theater criticism position, illustrating the thrill of a production into an article aiming to lure even the least artistically inclined reader into the theater would never become tedious. Furthermore, the argument that physicians are more essential to the wellbeing of society was disproven when I considered the acute necessity of art, and thereby artistic critique, in any healthy community. As I furiously sought direction regarding which path to follow, I encountered two proverbs previously unconnected in my mind: follow the straight and narrow, and choose the road less traveled by. In that moment, my muddled, indecisive thought process was instantly clarified. If medicine is a broad boulevard crowded with people, then theater criticism must be the narrow lane less traveled by