Miss Wisconsin USA Life: Now What

A month in and the biggest question on everyone’s mind is, Now what? Will you stay in school… will you stay on your path to become a lawyer… can you still come hang out… will you still model…are you going to the game on Saturday? The answer to all of the above is Yes…but!

Becoming Miss Wisconsin USA doesn’t mean I am no longer Skylar Witte, but  it means that God has given me the greatest opportunity and for one year only I get to be Skylar Witte, Miss Wisconsin USA. For those following my crazy, wild journey this year that involved 18 credit semesters, two jobs and launching a modeling and acting career it seems like one more huge endeavor seems impossible. If my life has taught me anything it is the only limitations in the world are those which are self-imposed. So here it goes.

I am staying in school, but I have reduced my credit load, my professors and UW-Madison administration have been helpful and accommodating, and for that I will be forever thankful. My goal of blasting through my double major undergrad degree in 3 years is being modified, but just slightly. Let’s be honest it was a hefty goal to begin with, the over-achiever in me is still adjusting to the idea but the realist in me knows I have one chance to be the best Miss Wisconsin USA I can be and like most things in my life I am dedicated to doing it well.

My modeling and acting career are not over, as a matter of fact I make my network television debut in two weeks. But my ability to shoot and do runway shows will have to come secondary to the ‘big job’ at least for a bit. I owe some people, there are a few photographers and designers out there who gave me everything when I had nothing. I did not nor will I ever forget about you. There is a list and I will get to all, I promise.

Will I become a lawyer, a model, an actress? Will I work in PR or in the fashion industry? Become a social media guru? The greatest joy in my life right at the moment is the door is wide open. But, I don’t have an answer. When life presents you with an unbelievable gift you graciously accept it, even if it means you open your heart to change and growth, at a level and speed nothing can prepare you for. Right now, I’m focusing on the new job and it will lead me into the direction of my dreams. The scope and power of those dreams continues to broaden.

Can I still hang out, go to games, live my life? You better believe it. Frankly, I am busy and my social life will take the hardest hit. My inbox is overflowing and I might miss a text or seven. But,  one of the resounding messages my parents have repeated my entire life is that your true friends, the people who love you and understand you will always be there. When you call them at 1 a.m. with a flat tire they will come rescue you. It won’t matter if you are on the top of the world or the lowest point of your life, the people who matter will be there. So many wonderful people have been on this journey with me up until this point, I love each and everyone of you. The next chapters are certainly going to be exciting and written as I go, but I AM READY!

“Only as high as I reach can I grow,

Only as far as I seek can I go,

Only as deep as I look can I see,

Only as much as I dream can I be!”

                                   ~Karen Raun

Dream Big,

Skylar

My roomie who I only actually get to live with part-time but keeps me sane full-time. A job she didn’t exactly apply for, but she is perfect at it and I love her for it.

Just Life: Advice to Freshman-self

Going into college you’re given a lot of advice from those that love you and those that have, as they say, “been there, done that”. Each tip will help you through your college years whether that’s from the first day on campus or your last final as a senior, however there really is no way to fully prepare someone for this new chapter in life. Looking back, there are some things I would like to tell my freshman-self as well as each first-year college student as they begin this wild new ride.

Don’t be afraid to fail.

Nobody is perfect and with all of the newness that surrounds you, it’s okay to fail. The exams are harder, the classes are different, and it takes some time to get into your groove when it comes to study habits. That first midterm exam may be your first taste of failure (it was for me), but I promise you will recover and laugh about it later.

Don’t let anyone guilt you about this ‘failure’ you will know exactly how hard you worked or how hard you didn’t, own it, accept it and move on!

Work hard.

Although it takes time to find what study habits will work for you, work hard to find those habits. Go to the library, your dorm room, try studying alone or with a buddy. But find your groove before it’s too late.

Don’t be too proud to ask if you are struggling, study groups, tutors, academic skills centers…these are part of your tuition, use them!

Have fun.

Studying is important, yes, it’s why you’re at school in the first place. But your world has room for fun. One of my fondest memories of my freshman year is a concert my roommate and I went to on a Wednesday, even though we both had really early Thursday mornings. Make time for school, but make time for memories.

Pack light.

Those of you that know me, know that I have every drawer exploding with clothes (I’m a hoarder). If college dorm rooms taught me anything it’s that you do not need to bring every cute sundress you have, you WILL be wearing leggings and a sweatshirt 4/5 days to class. It’s the comfortable reality of the matter.

Branch out.

College is the chance to find yourself and where you fit into this world. Use your freshman year to explore. Take classes that sound interesting, talk to people not in your “circle”, join a student org. This is your chance to set the stepping stones for your future, you literally have the freedom to lay those stones in any direction…cool!

Socialize.

Get to know at least one other person on your floor really well, this isn’t about escaping your roommate, it is about where you turn when you are wrapped in a towel and locked out.

Find ‘your people’ chances are you will meet them through a friend of a friend and once you discover each other and embark on one or two adventures, you will just know. They are your new home.

Keep yourself healthy.

Ahh Ian’s Pizza…you are my weakness. But for real, college is full of some yummy foods which are okay on occasion, but watch your habits. It’s extremely easy to fall out of your everyday workout routine, especially after a long day of classes but make time to keep your body healthy, you’ll be thankful for that down the road.

Health is more than physical.

As I’ve said, college is full of changes. It can be difficult to adapt and become completely comfortable with all of the new things around you. As important as it is to stay physically healthy it is important to make sure you are also working on your mental health. Don’t study too hard or put too many pressures on yourself, it’s okay to take a Netflix day when you need it. Or to call your parents to just to give them your ups and downs.

CALL YOUR PARENTS.

Not just for them, but for you too. Step out of your comfort zone and explore your independence, but also remember who stuck by you for 18 years to get you to this awesome new place in life. They will love it, and hearing my mom and dad’s voice on the other end of the phone will always leave me with a full heart.

Be smart.

Don’t walk alone at night or be too trusting. College isn’t scary as long as you are being smart and being safe. The buddy system is a good idea for both 2nd graders and 2nd year college students.

Indulge.

Staying healthy is great, but sometimes you just need a big old burger from the Nitty Gritty. Do it. Sometimes a bad day can be solved with a new pair of shoes. Don’t forget to give yourself a break.

There is so much more I want to share, but this is just a start. To all of the college freshman who have been moving in this week…enjoy it. It goes by so fast, that dorm room may seem too small to even move, but you’ll miss those nights eating Toppers on the floor with your roommate. Explore your campus and all it has to offer. And remember this new chapter is about YOU, make it a great one.

 

Dream Big, Skylar

image

Model Life: Good Crazy

In my first blog post I mentioned that I am a model/college student. I always joke that it is important to add that simple slash because I will tell you what I am not, a model college student. There is no way that I have discovered to have both a normal college life and try to be successful in the entertainment/fashion industry. Yet I have resigned myself to continue to believe I can do both. It is crazy, but it’s a good crazy.

Jobs in modeling or acting do not abide by a traditional schedule or a set one even at that. My biggest jobs have come down with about 48 hours notice. Explaining this life to a college professor is often difficult and frankly sometimes they just don’t care what I do outside of the classroom.  Fortunately I have made it work.

For example, the first conversation I ever had to have was with my theater class professor, himself is a working actor so I knew it would be the easiest, and went something like this:

Me: I was offered an opportunity to model in Chicago next week, I know I will be missing the scene project but….

Him: (Cutting me off) I totally get it, you have to do what you have to do, how cool for you. We will move your group to next week.

Whew!

Many conversations don’t  quite go as smoothly. In one class I sometimes miss participation points, in another I have had to retake quizzes that are automatically given a deducted score. Sometimes my days are spent calculating just how many points this job will cost me and their overall effect on my GPA (which currently *pats self on back* is a 3.76) I deduce that based on my current assignments and test scores I will likely take a hit but will still be able to end my year with a 3.5. One more week folks say a little prayer for me.

People ask me a LOT if I am going to quit college, so far I haven’t gotten a compelling enough opportunity that pays a compelling enough amount of money. So the answer is no! Just last week I turned down an offer to go to New York, it just wasn’t worth screwing up a whole semester of coursework. People also ask if I miss out on the college experience and to that the answer is also no.  I go to parties with my friends when I can, I attend sporting events and eat in the caf just like everyone else. When I meet new people and tell them about my life they usual think it’s cool but also tell me I’m crazy. I am but it’s a good crazy and I LOVE EVERY MINUTE of both the model life and the college life!  Sometimes I have to remind myself that modeling is probably a once in a lifetime gig with a definitive end point, my college degree will last a lifetime.

 

Dream Big, Skylar