Feeling More Motivated Than Ever | Student Blog

Thursday, Feb 07, 2019
Horacio Fernández Vázquez
Admissions Blog
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Three collared shirts laid out on a sofa

I am a very positive person and I am always looking at the good things that time brings, like experience, wisdom, and growth.

Even failures are nothing but an indication that there is still a lot to learn and that the quality of your work can only get better. After a very successful first semester at my dream school, I feel more motivated than ever to keep learning and make good use of the many tools that Juilliard has to offer.

I spent my first semester getting acquainted with the complex artistic, academic, and administrative culture of the school and discovering what is expected of me as a student, colleague, and friend. Now that I feel that I am getting sufficiently accustomed to life as a Juilliard student, I have concluded that it is time to expand my activities. For instance, I decided to enroll in a class at Columbia University [through the Barnard-Columbia-Juilliard exchange], which is an opportunity I was not expecting to have. I decided to take Introduction to Film, which is perfect for me since I have been passionate about cinema for some time and because it's very important for me to begin to build professional relationships with young and aspiring filmmakers. Getting way from school at least once a week was a big goal I had for this semester because encountering new faces is a good way to clear your mind from a community as small as that of Juilliard. I hope that by the end of the semester I can say that I got used to the more academically intense atmosphere of Columbia while also developing friendships there with new people.

The big goal that I have for this year is to kick off a personal project that has been on my mind for a few months. My idea is to make a series of video recordings of my own compositions that are inspired by an abundance of dance rhythms from around Latin America and that showcase Latin fashion. I want the quality of the performances, the visuals and my compositions to be of a professional level so the amount of work that has to be done is enormous. However, it turns out to be a good time for me to be busy since I have discovered how to hack myself into working more.

Something that has helped a lot in becoming more efficient is discovering how my creative process works. I found the following: I find an idea that I like and compulsively write down as much as I can in a first session and then I begin to question the quality of my work and procrastinate (which I really see as a time to think). I leave the piece alone for a bit and then come back and repeat until it is done. One of my tricks is to work on various compositions simultaneously, and when I get tired of working on one, I can make progress on another one and get excited all over again.

I was also extremely lucky that this year marks the first time that the Juilliard class Entrepreneurship in the Arts has been offered to freshmen. It is super exciting to have a whole class dedicated to helping me realize a project of my own choosing. I could not ask for a better opportunity.

I believe that a really beautiful realization that every Juilliard student should have is that there are many exciting reasons to be in this school and one of the best is that there will not be many times in life where there you will have so many people who are dedicated to helping us succeed. I come from a university in Mexico with a robust budget to support their students develop their careers, but what I have encountered at Juilliard is almost ridiculous. I can’t help but to feel deeply moved by my luck to be here, and one of the ways to show my gratitude is to improve on myself as much as I can. I feel that there are almost no excuses for me not to succeed and get better. The only thing I have to do is reach out and take as much as I can.