For some, a drive to success begins early in life. They find their calling at an early age and begin to direct their path toward that calling. Others, however, come out of high school directionless and unsure. Like many others, they use their first years of college to discern what the future may hold for them. Jenna had a general idea that she loved music, and enjoyed acting which provided a direction for her if not a path. So after graduation, she immediately moved to Gainesville, Florida, where many of her friends were continuing their education. Once again, she aimed for the highest, University of Florida, but missed and settled on Santa Fe Community College instead. There, taking standard classes, Jenna was still unable to connect to a group of friends or the key social scene that thrives around Gators football and fraternities and sororities.
While her friends were making their way and living a more traditional college lifestyle, Jenna found comfort more in hanging with her other male students, mostly guitar players. But even with those few connections, she began to feel homesick. Within a year, she was ready to go home.
“I did not grow up in a sticker for participating house.”
“I did not grow up in a sticker for participating house.” Jenna knew that when she came home, she would need to decide quickly the next steps toward a goal. Then Florida Community College of Jacksonville (FCCJ) offered a two-year degree in multimedia, and with the idea of becoming a reporter, going into broadcasting, or becoming a veejay, Jenna felt like she had options. She signed up for a variety of classes and felt happy to be home.
Immediately, Jenna realized she was amongst “like-minded folk”. In her years since high school, she had gravitated toward the darker music scene emerging at festivals such as Ozzfest. Bands like Coal Chamber, Marilyn Manson, and Rob Zombie filled her playlist. At FCCJ, Jenna connected with people sharing similar musical tastes that loved music as much as she did. That important musical connection forged some very important new friendships with people Jenna still calls her closest friends to this day. And it all started with a class project.
The class formed into groups, Jenna’s had to choose between doing a project on animals or making a music video for a band called Opiate. “I didn’t know that was gonna change my whole life,” Jenna laughs amusedly now at how this simple assignment made such an impact on her future. But these types of seemingly insignificant events would begin to pave the way for many new and exciting opportunities to come for her.