Bryson French attends WV State University, Class of 2022. He is as nimble with a baseball bat as he is with a violin bow. The sophomore accounting major is maintaining a balancing act of classwork, music, and athletics on his journey to someday opening his own accounting firm.
“I’ve been playing music and baseball for 11 years,” says the Winfield native, who is embracing both of his passions while at STATE. In addition to his position as catcher on the Yellow Jackets baseball team, he is taking applied music lessons and playing violin in the Charleston Chamber Orchestra.
The pursuit of his artistic and athletic passions is helping Bryson, who commutes to class, feel more connected to campus.
“Especially during my first year, I would come to class, and it would be a bunch of commuters who didn’t really talk to each other. There was no social aspect. People just came to class and went home,” he says. “Once I began taking music classes, I realized that music majors are a very close-knit group, the accounting majors are a close-knit group, and also the baseball team. As you get to know these people, the social aspect picks up. You make friends.”
Bryson admits his differing interests result in a unique mix. “I don’t see other people with that roundedness to them,” he says. “When around musicians, it can be like you don’t entirely fit in or you just see yourself differently. Around the baseball team, it can be the same, but it’s fun. It’s something I get to talk to them about and teach them about.”
So much involvement can lead to a tricky balancing act, but it is one Bryson has learned to manage through a rather simple approach: loving what he does. In addition to classes, he spends anywhere from an hour a day practicing music to as many as 15 hours of baseball practice in a week.
“A lot of it comes from enjoying it. You can’t do it if you don’t enjoy it,” he says. “I’ve been doing music and baseball and school for so much of my life, I’ve just come to make that balance.”
He encourages other students – especially commuters – to seek out similar ways to get involved. “Don’t just come for classes and leave,” he says. “Get involved. Use the school’s resources. Make connections. There are people here who can point you in the right direction.”
He’s already making connections and researching internship opportunities as he pursues his bachelor’s degree in accounting, with plans to obtain his Certified Public Accountant certification, work for a public accountant, and someday open his own firm – all while making sweet music along the way.