Georgia's Governor's Honors Program is a month long program held each summer for elite students going into the 11th and 12th grades. Students from across the state can and are nominated in various fields ranging from academics to fine arts to language. Last year, I had the honor of being nominated in all four core subjects as well as music.
Being the current valedictorian of our school's Magnet program attending both the health care and biotechology pathways, I was set on becoming a researcher in the speech pathology field, and science seemed the obvious choice. So why in the world did you choose music? wondered probably everyone in my family and at school.
It was soon clear to me that I had a much more difficult time than my 16 science counterparts from my Magnet program. The deadlines for Governor's Honors auditions are initially spaced close together, leaving little room to properly prepare a piece for music. Meanwhile, those who chose science researched as recently as the bus ride to the district interviews and seemed not at all stressed about the scheduling.
Beyond scheduling, the mere logistics of being in a Magnet program of the sciences (biotechology and health care science) made it a much easier time for those choosing to be nominated in science than I had in my fine arts nomination. Sure, I have extracurriculars to go along with my area of nomination, but so did they, and these were activities everyone in the Magnet program has the privilege of attending.
I have now said it for over a year since the initial rounds of Governor's Honors went on last year: science is my career, but music is my passion. In doing GHP Music, that statement has shifted to, "Music is my passion and I would like to make it my career."
I have so far succeeded even my own expectations of myself in high school and in the Magnet program, especially in science. I seem to have always understood it and enjoyed it. At one point in time, I convinced myself I had a duty to society to go into science for life.
For Governor's Honors, it would be a lot easier a time if I had chosen science for my area of nomination as well. I'm top of my class as well as one of the best students of science my program has to offer. Because of their background in science at my Magnet program, some of my peers had nearly a laughably easy time of going all the way through. One of my peers even told me they did it simply to pad their resumé, not because they wanted it more or less than anyone else.
But despite the better prospects of being nominated in science instead, I chose music because it's truly something that drives me. For music, the sky's the limit in terms of improvement. Insofar my usual end to practice sessions is my lips giving out on buzzing after two to three hours.
Beyond just doing band in high school and college as a mere extra curricular, I decided to consider what I would want to do for the rest of my life. I've been in an intensive lab setting now. While it can be exhilarating and rewarding at times, most of the time it's stressful and frustrating (even before involving the dreaded grant applications and self-prompted research projects).
I genuinely imagine myself in the future playing an instrument full time or teaching others to play instruments and feeling fulfilled. Even when I wanted to go into science, I knew I wanted to do music for the rest of my life. Now it has simply transformed in my mind from a prospective full time side show to the main act.
As we go into the 2018-2019 round of Governor's Honors nominations and eliminations at the state application level (the round where I faced elimination last year), I am not upset about my battle but invigorated.