Out-of-State Senior: Theatre Education Major Julia Rivenburg

Julia sitting in the audience.

Today we feature senior Julia Rivenburg, a senior Theatre Education major from Waldorf, Maryland. Julia tells us about her experience at Rowan and how attending a school out of state was a great decision.

Julia holding her dress behind Bunce Hall.

Reflecting on your time at Rowan, what have been some of the greatest benefits for you on attending a university out of your home state? 

I always tell students back home that the best part of coming to a school like Rowan is that you are in a completely new world where you are able to be the person you might have been afraid to be in high school. I came to Rowan a very different person than I am exiting, and I personally like the version of myself now much more than who I once was. Being away from home I had to push myself to go out and try new things. I came in only wanting to take design classes in the theatre department and ended up taking classes in acting, directing, devising, and movement on top of the design classes. I also realized that I did not want to just be a stage manager like I was in high school, and I branched out professionally into house managing and now, directing as I make my directorial debut in April.

Julia on stage with a blue light highlighting her from behind.

How has Rowan been a good fit for you? 

Honestly, I don’t think “good” is the word for it, more like “great.” Rowan has provided me with so many lessons and opportunities that I don’t think I would have gotten in a BFA at an in-state school in Maryland. At Rowan my professors in the Theatre Department continuously push me to be my best self and encourage me to become the woman I am today. I constantly feel like I am in an environment where I am able to continuously grow and try new things and that was exactly what I was looking for when I was looking for colleges.

Julia sitting on the steps in front of Bunce Hall.

Could you share with us a meaningful moment you experienced at Rowan?

There are so many meaningful moments from my time at Rowan so it is really hard to pick just one. I think the first one I can truly remember was the spring of my freshman year when a senior had asked me to be her stage manager for her Lab production. It was the first time that I really felt like I could make a name for myself away from home and I was truly grateful that someone thought I was capable as a freshman to take on such a position.

Julia on stage.

How is southern New Jersey different from “home” for you? 

It took me a while to figure it out, but there are a lot more mom and pop shops/ small businesses to go to in South Jersey. The landscape outside of Rowan is also a little more “farmy” than home is for me.

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Story and photography by: 

Stephanie Batista, sophomore Music Industry major

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