By Ryan Squires || Contributing Writer
Hello F&Mily! I’m Ryan Squires from Ellicott City, Maryland. I am so honored and excited to become a part of the F&M community this year, even though it will be in a much different way than anyone expected. Sadly, I won’t be spending my first semester on the lovely F&M campus like I imagined I would be,, but instead I’ll be taking classes virtually this fall living at home with my Mom, Dad, thirteen year old brother, and dog, Shadow. Nonetheless, I am so excited to meet as many fellow Diplomats as possible remotely and to become as involved as I can in all the happenings in the F&M community. I am particularly interested in the Arts, from singing in the choir, perhaps joining an improv group, to taking the stage in fall productions, remotely if possible. I’ve got a strong interest in studying film and theatre, so I am very ready to jump into every aspect of the F&M performing arts experience.
I’ve found that the worst part of quarantine for me has been the utter lack of theatre, from the inability to attend live shows to the lack of opportunities to participate in performances myself. Not being able to sing or act on stage has created a void in my life. On the other hand, this time has given me a one of a kind chance to hone my favorite aspect of theatre and film production which is writing for the stage and screen. Since March I’ve been able to write my first full length play, a quarantine inspired relationship drama, finish my fourth one act piece working with the Shakespeare Theater Company about the perils of collegiate dating and technology, and get a start on my next full length project, about a local radio DJ in the midst of a mid-life crisis. I love to entertain an audience, and I have come to appreciate writing as much as performing during this time. My proudest achievement in my high school career was being able to write, produce and stage my very first one act play live for my school’s One Night Only student showcase. Hearing an audience laugh, applaud and react to my words for the first time was an absolutely breathtaking feeling that I hope to experience again soon. For someone who writes as much as I do about the lives of my characters, I can never seem to write about myself in the same effortless manner. The process of writing about me is always fraught with second guessing and overthinking, while the actions of my fictional creations flow so freely from my mind. I think the most important thing I would want people to know about me is that I am outwardly shy, but channel a lot of my extrovertedness into my writing and performing. I hope to break out of my shell to meet lots of new friends at F&M.
What drew me to F&M is how tight knit and supportive the community is. While that attribute was certainly important to me last year when I visited campus and applied, I definitely did not know just how crucial a caring community would become in Fall 2020 as we struggle together through this global pandemic. I come from a very small private school in Annapolis, which I have attended since I was four years old. The closeness and deep engagement of peers and teachers together here remind me of where I came from, but also provided new challenges for me with expansive opportunities and intellectual diversity. F&M’s community made me realize this school was where I belonged, and even though I am physically distanced from campus this semester, I am committed to becoming an engaged member of the community. I feel that F&M is the perfect intersection of what I know and love and what I can’t wait to dive into at the first possible moment. So dive in, I will! Even though, I won’t see any of you in person for longer than I’d originally hoped, here’s to having a great, memorable first semester and making connections with friends and mentors that will long outlast these wildly fraught times in which we are starting our college careers.
First-year Ryan Squires is a contributing writer. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.