Student pursues new opportunities during first semester

KENNESAW, Ga. | Jan 11, 2022

The first semester of college is a time of transition and growth as students spread their wings and begin to navigate their academic careers, discover new interests and make lasting memories. In recognition of that significant step, we are highlighting students who have just completed their first semesters at Kennesaw State. Arianna Palmer, who is from Acworth, Ga. and plans to pursue a degree in Theatre and Performance Studies, shares what made her first semester as an Owl meaningful.


What is your favorite moment or memory from your first semester?

My favorite memory was going through the season auditions for my major, theatre. It's a giant general audition for about eight stage shows that will go through the fall and spring semesters and those are going to be big shows. I made it through their general auditions, and then I got callbacks for two other shows that I want — the 24-Hour Play Festival and “Wondrous Strange.” I was extremely excited that I was cast in them, and that was my first time really auditioning for that many shows at once. It was unreal. I was so excited. I was happy. I felt like this is where I’m supposed to be.

How did your first semester of college compare to your expectations?

I was a senior during COVID and attended virtual classes in my pajamas, so coming to college I thought it would be the same; I even bought new pajamas for class. I was surprised that my classes were in person, and that meant I needed to look more presentable than just pajamas. 

Between homework and rehearsal four hours a day, five days a week, I was worried about keeping up. But because I enjoyed my classes, studying was fun and came easy to me. So far, I’d say college courses have exceeded my expectations, and I'm ready for whatever I encounter.

As you adjusted to college, who or what has been your biggest support at KSU?

Jim Davis, one of my theatre professors, has been incredibly helpful and is a calming presence. Whenever I was feeling stressed or just needed to talk to someone, I would walk into his office during the day and tell him, ‘Hey, this is a lot right now. Can you help me, or can you tell me how I should handle this or what can I do to better myself as an actress?’ 


Outside of class, what did you do to get involved at KSU in your first semester?

Well, I have those shows to work on. Otherwise, I found the K-Pop dance group — Sin-K (Seoul in Kennesaw) — at KSU before I came here. I love K-Pop music and I love dancing — my two favorite things. I attended one of their workshops, but my rehearsals conflicted with theirs, so I haven’t been involved with it like I hoped. But I still follow them on Instagram, and I want to see if they have other dance workshops, and if I have time, I would definitely go.

What was the best or most beneficial aspect of your first semester at KSU?

I became a KSU Brand Ambassador. I followed them on social media since I was in high school, and I wanted to be a part of it. I get to help future students come in and be comfortable with college and ease their nerves a little. I can answer questions they have about FAFSA or scholarships or just admissions in general or help them with life on campus. So, I was really excited for that and think that was the best, most beneficial part of my semester because that will help me in the future, too.

Did your college plan change at all during your first semester?

Not necessarily. I think when I was graduating high school, I thought I would have more time than I actually do, but with all my rehearsals, I don’t have that much time. We do auditions the day before the semester starts, and we're given dates of the shows before then, so I was thinking about next year before school even started. 

But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

– Dave Shelles
Photos by David Caselli

Related Stories

A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 45,000 students. Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia with 11 academic colleges. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 7 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit