Well, here we are. One week down in college, a lot more to go. I'm having a great time so far; I'm loving my new classes, new friends, and new life. I want to document my feelings right now, so that over the next four years, and even after graduation, I can look back on this and use it as motivation.
So, what do I want to get out of my college experience?
I want to grow.
That pretty much sums it up. I want to grow as a scholar, learning from my professors and readings. I want to grow as a musician, practicing diligently and understanding the theory behind what I play. I want to grow as a person, expanding my horizons and stepping out of my comfort zone. Overall, I want to leave Queens not only ready for a career, but as an intelligent, compassionate, and driven individual.
This is the first week of school. I am energized and excited for this adventure. My classes are interesting, I'm caught up with homework, and I'm practicing everyday- all while hanging out with my friends and getting a decent amount of sleep. Will this last? I hope so, but probably not. I know that as the work load increases, I join more clubs, and potentially find a job, I will have to work harder to get everything finished, and I might have to sacrifice in some areas. I hope and pray I am able to manage my time wisely and know when to work hard and when to relax.
Something has been worrying me, though.
There's a theory that when something becomes designated as work, it fails to bring us as much joy as it did when it was something we did for fun.
That is my biggest fear.
Music has always been my hobby, my escape, and my sanctuary. I want to pursue something I'm passionate about as a career, and I have no doubt I've made the right choice, but what if this ruins it for me? What if receiving grades for my understanding, performing for an exam, and pursuing music as a career takes the fun out of it? What if I begin to dread playing my instruments because instead of reading textbooks or studying for exams, my homework consists of hours in the practice room?
I believe the solution to this is remembering why. It is crucial to my happiness and success that I remember the intrinsic motivation behind what I'm doing. Why am I here? I'm not here to make straight A's (though, hopefully good grades will come along with hard work). I'm not here to pull all-nighters just to play the hardest pieces. I'm not here to work and work and work until I can't do anything else. That's not why I'm here.
I'm here to become the best music therapist I can be. I'm here so I can help others when they need it most. I'm here to learn more about our world and the people in it. I'm here because I love music and I can't fathom life without it. This is why I'm here.
So while I'm fresh and full of energy right now, I know there will be days when I'm not. Those days are when it's important I remember why I'm here. When I'm stressed and overwhelmed and don't know how I'll continue with school, I hope I'll find this post to read.
I hope I'll remember that eighteen year old girl with a heart on fire for music. I hope I'll remember that sixteen year old girl who sat wide-eyed and in awe witnessing her first music therapy session. I hope I'll remember that five year old girl who made up songs all the time simply because she needed to sing. And then, I hope I can imagine that strong woman whose life is being changed everyday by her clients whom she loves beyond words.
And then, I hope I'll continue to grow.