Breanna Devlin: University and Beyond
Portrait of an Artist
Weird, dark, anything that’s a little bit different. These are the things that inspire and inhabit Breanna Devlin’s art and writing. She’s now honed her focus to screenplays, writing out of her apartment situated near Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida. Breanna is a rising senior, expected to graduate from Lynn this winter. It’s been a long road, she tells us, and her future didn’t always feel as certain as she’s presented it to us now.
Breanna explains how we’re consistently advertised to with the promise that higher education is a place where nothing can go wrong, and working to achieve something great is an effortless, booze-filled four years.
An Uncertain Future
Though Breanna was sold on this glamor of the silver screen as a kid, she soon found how nefarious campus life is during her first semester at Lynn. “I had this big image in my mind of what college would be and when it didn’t fit that picture, I didn’t know what to do. It’s real life and sometimes bad things happen. If you don’t have a good time in college...” She trails off as though those very real consequences must stay unspoken at school. It wasn’t all for nothing, though: “I feel like a better person after going through all that,” Breanna says.
Truthfully, it’s a common problem many aspiring students face, have faced, and will continue to face. No one really prepares you for the university experience. At first guarded by her shortcomings, Breanna retrospectively sees her struggle as a beautiful curse. It’s not a big deal. Everything’s gonna be fine. It’s all gonna work out. This became a kind of mantra to live by, through both the difficult life she knew and the more loving, kind one she has found herself in today.
Here and Now
Breanna’s advice for the inner artist in us? “Be true to what you put out there.” She has more than a few concerns over the ways commercialism influences art. Following the trends and popularity is easy. What’s difficult is finding our own trajectory without compromising who we are.
Breanna finds herself at the compromising intersection of art and reality. Of expectations and of what daily life imposes on us. Yet even that description would be selling herself short: “I don't think I can pinpoint one version of myself. I feel like I can fit so many roles. The most authentic me is weird and I love that about myself.”
She hopes to become a writer (she’s also very interested in opening a gallery of her artwork in the future). Writing has been her dream since Breanna was little, taking special note of acclaimed authors with troubled pasts. “I wanted to be a tortured writer as a kid. Now I’m just tortured and not a writer,” she says, laughing at how close to home truisms appear.
Until her academic career ends and Breanna enters post-grad life, she’s learning to appreciate the time away from usual stresses. Now, the future is something she’s eager to face. “I’m taking it one day at a time. Life has never been like I imagined it. And that’s ok.”
Breanna leaves us with some words of advice to all those going through a rough time in college, or to everyone whose life isn’t meeting their expectations: “We’re not in a Shakespearean play, so there’s no need to be so dramatic. Life is actually really boring and there are so many simple solutions. Find solutions.”
And to aspiring writers like herself, Breanna wants to pass along the FactSumo “Like vs. As” deck, because, well, grammar is important!