F.U (Find Urself) proudly supports and admires the dedication, passion, and drive of upcoming and hard-working artists, performers, entrepreneurs, athletes, and all types of ambitious individuals. Therefore, we love to do our part in helping these individuals accomplish their dreams by providing the highest level of exposure and recognition.
Our first featured story will be on a multi-talented and truly inspiring individual that goes by the name Melanie Royster. We can go on and on about this young lady, but we have chosen to keep her story pure, real, unedited, and straight from her heart. Thank you for allowing us to put you on the spot Mel. Enjoy!
"From when I was little I’ve always had two sides to me, creative and active.
If I wasn’t outside running around and playing, I was inside drawing and/or making things. Towards the end the elementary school I joined the basketball team, concert band, and was a part of the art club. I continued all three into high school."
High school years and college…
"I always had a pull between my life as an athlete and my creative side. During my time in high school, basketball became the main focus especially because it was a way to get a full-ride scholarship for college. I had to drop concert band my sophomore year. I rarely was able to be a big part of art club, due to workouts, practices and games." After visiting a number of schools, Melanie verbally committed to VCU.
Basketball and Art or Basketball versus Art?
"I knew me committing didn’t mean I got into the art school. I had to apply in hopes of getting in. I did worry on multiple occasions of what if I don’t get into the art program? What am I going to do? However, I was determined. I came up with a portfolio, I applied, and I got in! I was going to go to college doing the two things I’m very very passionate about."
A student, an athlete, and an artist…the beginning.
"My next five years was a tug-a-war between my two lives. My first year was probably my hardest. Because of my anxiety with art school, I wouldn’t perform my best on the court. My grades weren’t the best because I was so tired from practice, traveling, etc. It was truly taking a toll on my body. I also tore my ACL, so I was out for the rest of the season. I literally came to a breaking point.
The two worlds always needed attention and at times I felt like I was losing myself. There were definitely hardships doing both. The athletic program rarely ever had art students in their program, and the the art program rarely had student-athletes. I never really felt a complete sense of belonging. I started blaming others and making excuses. One day, I broke down and I thought I was going to quit everything. I remember someone from the coaching staff (you know who you are) confronting me about my wrongs, and telling me that I need to take accountability for what’s going on in my life. She was right."
"Enough is enough this is what I wanted to do. Time to make it happen and stop making excuses."
The turning point.
"Enough is enough this is what I wanted to do. Time to make it happen and stop making excuses. I bounced back stronger than ever. Towards the end of my freshman year, I got cleared to start playing again and I also got accepted into the interior design program."
Grind. Leadership. Legacy.
"No matter what, I was going to work hard. I knew the next four years wouldn’t be easy, but I was going to make it happen. Spending “all-nighters” in the studio and then going straight to practice the next day. Carrying some supplies with me on away trips and setting up a mini studio in the hotel.
I supported my teammates and led by example no matter how I was feeling. I was going to be known as someone who always worked her [beep] off, no matter what. On top of that, I was still able to enjoy my college experience.
I appreciate all the teammates, coaches, students, teachers, fans, and so on that rooted for me. I graduated from VCU with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Interior Design and a Masters of Education in Sport Leadership."
Melanie Royster was a member of the interior design team that developed the $25 million worth and 60,000 square foot basketball practice facility for Virginia Commonwealth University known as BDC (Basketball Development Center).
Welcome to the real world!
"So now what? I’ve been out of school for almost 2 years now. These past 2 years have truly been a journey. This year, 2018, is just different. I’ve realized for the majority of my life, basketball was the main priority. I never really got to deeply explore my creative side fully, and this is the year to do so. I love the discoveries I have found and I know the best is yet to come."
"I’m no longer worried about what people think I should be doing."
"I need this time to explore. And you never know...maybe my two passions will soon come together again, like they have in the past. This is my time and I’m loving every minute of it."
Golden Water by Melanie Royster
Boundaries by Melanie Royster
"Right now, I’m a Design consultant at Ethan Allen. I’m getting involved with the art community. I mainly paint and do ink drawings. I have also dipped into modeling. I label myself as a creative, I wear many hats. I’m very open to any collaborations and very eager to see what’s out there."
"I just love to create and I want to work with people who love to do the same."