Since starting here, I have found that every year has presented a different set of challenges and made me rethink my goals and ideals.
This school year presented a whole new wave of growing up—I moved into my own apartment! I ran a marathon! I started a photography business! I switched studios! It was a year of a lot of change, and sometimes it felt like every decision I made was life-or-death, even though it was usually just choosing what groceries to buy. To be certain, it got exhausting at times, but each circumstance pushed me to be stronger and more mature.
What I’ve taken away from some of the most difficult decisions I made this year is that I am capable of so much if I set my mind to it. Running 26.2 miles, living on my own, even deciding who was the right teacher for me seemed impossible until I set my heart on it. Through 18-hour days, back-to-back performances, thousands of confusing email chains, and what sometimes seemed like an eternity cooped up in practice rooms, I’ve realized that the hardest part of anything is simply starting it, and—with determination and a clear objective in mind—everything else seems to fall into place!
So I’ve discovered that if I want something, I can’t simply expect it to happen without putting in the work. For the goals I’ve accomplished, I wasn’t afraid to reach out for help, make a game plan, gather resources, and be flexible. Juilliard offers guidance for students in many ways: through counseling, technology, books, community engagement, and more. Off-campus performances and social gatherings at school opened my eyes to the different communities and perspectives I can work with. The faculty are open to communicating and helping form strategies and set goals. The big changes in my life took many hours of investment and hard work, but I learned to take advantage of what Juilliard offers to help me succeed. Now that I’m about to enter my senior year, I’m more familiar with the resources I can use to prepare for auditions and future career opportunities.
To put it simply, this year was challenging. And why shouldn’t it be? Because of the amount of times I had to completely flip my schedule to squeeze in an extra rehearsal or an extra hour of running or an extra study session, I became more confident in my abilities and in how to approach long-term goals. I learned to be more humble, more giving, more proactive, and more confident. As artists, we can often feel insignificant or overwhelmed, but the challenges I have faced this year have enabled me to grow even more as both a musician and a person. I’m quickly realizing that it’s a never-ending journey of personal growth, and I’m eager to see what awaits me next year.