5 Reasons You Should Learn To Play An Instrument In College

5 Reasons You Should Learn To Play An Instrument In College

Just because you didn't learn to play the violin in elementary school doesn't mean it's too late to try.

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Once you've started college, you might think your chance to learn an instrument has passed. Kids absorb music lessons quickly but now that you're an adult, you might think it's too late for you, it's too difficult or you don't have time.

On the contrary, college is a prime moment in your life when you get to spend time developing your interests and trying new things. You're in a unique place where you get to figure out your strengths, hobbies and future.

Put off any fear or doubt about starting this process now.

Learning an instrument can improve your college experience, help you grow as a person and continue to affect your life once you've graduated. Check out the following five reasons that learning an instrument in college can benefit you.

1. It can be your choice now

While you were growing up, your parents, guardians or school probably tried to put you through music lessons to give you a chance to learn an instrument. But when you were a child, the decision to sit down and play wasn't coming from you.

You may have intentionally avoided learning an instrument or gradually stopped your childhood music lessons but now you can make your own choice.

You can learn because you want to and continue to master an instrument due to your own determination. You get to select your instrument, the kind of music you'll play and who you play for.

2. It helps you unwind after classes

College is a stressful time — you're balancing school, work, relationships and more. Whether you're getting through gen eds that don't interest you or tackling advanced concepts, strumming your guitar in between can relieve some tension.

When the pressure of finals gets to you, you'll have a relaxing escape in music. Creating music switches emotions and reactions when you're overwhelmed.

You can offset stress with this recreational hobby and learn how to manage your stress level by adding in musical breaks.

3. It creates a shared interest with new friends

There are several ways to get connected with people in college but when you have music in common with others, you have a natural segue into friendship.

You can get tips from more experienced musicians or trade advice with fellow newbies that you meet. Invite them to play with you and see what making music with others is like.

If you start playing in a band or orchestra, you can become close to the other musicians. Music groups are a way to keep your motivation and progress steady and you and your new friends can have a blast performing together too.

4. It can be an affordable extracurricular

Paying tuition and living expenses probably means you're broke and many college activities can drain your bank account even more.

From sororities and fraternities to participating in the latest trends, expensive practices can hurt your finances. But playing an instrument is a more cost-effective option.

If you find a deal on a drumset or rent a saxophone, your instrument doesn't have to be full price. You can acquire a piano without buying a brand new one when you purchase a used piano or factory-restored piano.

Many other ways exist to get popular instruments at an affordable price and whatever the initial price is, it will be a worthwhile investment.

5. It provides you with a new skill

Practicing and improving at an instrument takes discipline but after a while, you can appreciate the payoff of your hard work. You'll watch your talent grow and you can also see other practical life skills develop from your music.

Patience, perseverance and consistency are all beneficial lessons that you can pick up when you're learning to play an instrument.

Your developing talent can help you in other areas of life too, like in your studies. Musical training can increase your cognitive abilities, so your GPA might start looking better once you've started learning chords and playing melodies.

You can even think outside the box better once your horizons have been broadened with making music.

Start mastering an instrument today!

Adding a musical instrument to your life can alter your daily routine, give you an opportunity for new friendships, provide you with another skill and much more.

Despite where you are in life, you can start making music and honing your skills. Why not challenge yourself to take on an instrument while in college?

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So, You Want To Be A Nurse?

You're going to find that nursing isn't really about the medicine or the assessments. Being a nurse is so much more than anything that you can learn in school. Textbooks can't teach you compassion and no amount of lecture time will teach you what it truly means to be a nurse.

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To the college freshman who just decided on nursing,

I know why you want to be a nurse.

Nurses are important. Nursing seems fun and exciting, and you don't think you'll ever be bored. The media glorifies navy blue scrubs and stethoscopes draped around your neck, and you can't go anywhere without hearing about the guaranteed job placement. You passed AP biology and can name every single bone in the human body. Blood, urine, feces, salvia -- you can handle all of it with a straight face. So, you think that's what being a nurse is all about, right? Wrong.

You can search but you won't find the true meaning of becoming a nurse until you are in the depths of nursing school and the only thing getting you through is knowing that in a few months, you'll be able to sign the letters "BSN" after your name...

You can know every nursing intervention, but you won't find the true meaning of nursing until you sit beside an elderly patient and know that nothing in this world can save her, and all there's left for you to do is hold her hand and keep her comfortable until she dies.

You'll hear that one of our biggest jobs is being an advocate for our patients, but you won't understand until one day, in the middle of your routine physical assessment, you find the hidden, multi-colored bruises on the 3-year-old that won't even look you in the eyes. Your heart will drop to your feet and you'll swear that you will not sleep until you know that he is safe.

You'll learn that we love people when they're vulnerable, but you won't learn that until you have to give a bed bath to the middle-aged man who just had a stroke and can't bathe himself. You'll try to hide how awkward you feel because you're young enough to be his child, but as you try to make him feel as comfortable as possible, you'll learn more about dignity at that moment than some people learn in an entire lifetime.

Every class will teach you about empathy, but you won't truly feel empathy until you have to care for your first prisoner in the hospital. The guards surrounding his room will scare the life out of you, and you'll spend your day knowing that he could've raped, murdered, or hurt people. But, you'll walk into that room, put your fears aside, and remind yourself that he is a human being still, and it's your job to care, regardless of what he did.

Each nurse you meet will beam with pride when they tell you that we've won "Most Trusted Profession" for seventeen years in a row, but you won't feel that trustworthy. In fact, you're going to feel like you know nothing sometimes. But when you have to hold the sobbing, single mother who just received a positive breast cancer diagnosis, you'll feel it. Amid her sobs of wondering what she will do with her kids and how she's ever going to pay for treatment, she will look at you like you have all of the answers that she needs, and you'll learn why we've won that award so many times.

You'll read on Facebook about the nurses who forget to eat and pee during their 12-hour shifts and swear that you won't forget about those things. But one day you'll leave the hospital after an entire shift of trying to get your dying patient to eat anything and you'll realize that you haven't had food since 6:30 A.M. and you, too, will be one of those nurses who put everything else above themselves.

Too often we think of nursing as the medicine and the procedures and the IV pumps. We think of the shots and the bedpans and the baths. We think all the lab values and the blood levels that we have to memorize. We think it's all about the organs and the diseases. We think of the hospitals and the weekends and the holidays that we have to miss.

But, you're going to find that nursing isn't really about the medicine or the assessments. Being a nurse is so much more than anything that you can learn in school. Textbooks can't teach you compassion, and no amount of lecture time will teach you what it truly means to be a nurse.

So, you think you want to be a nurse?

Go for it. Study. Cry. Learn everything. Stay up late. Miss out on things. Give it absolutely everything that you have.

Because I promise you that the decision to dedicate your life to saving others is worth every sleepless night, failed test, or bad day that you're going to encounter during these next four years. Just keep holding on.

Sincerely,

The nursing student with just one year left.

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