The biggest lesson that I would like to walk out having learned this past year is that of perspective.
I remember how Juilliard seemed to be something so out of my reach that I just assumed that it was a reality for a select few who were born in the right place, or to the right musical family, or with outstanding talent. Even after I had gotten in, I still believed that I would perhaps be somehow less because of how different my career path had been until this point and that my getting in was somehow accidental. After some time spent at Juilliard, I realized that those things that made my a little different from others where precisely the reason for which I was accepted.
Parents arn't musical? Well, I was brought up in a family of scientists so a passion for the pursuit of intellectual endeavors shapes my compositional ambitions today.
Not born into the right place to become a classical musician? I was born into an amazingly colorful culture that is extraordinarily musical in its own way and those colors are all over my music.
Not talented enough? I have learned to collaborate and identify the individual strengths of the people who surround me and end up with projects of a quality that go way beyond what I could possibly accomplish on my own. Just as I have discovered so much of myself, I have discovered that everyone at school has a thing that makes them special and this is true at Juilliard and anywhere. As the old saying goes, you learn to love your country when you leave it. It’s my identity.
Many times when I introduced myself as a freshman and mentioned that I was extremely excited to be here, I got teased that it was because I was in my first few months and that I would get accustomed to it. But here I stand at the end of our first year together and I can’t wait to come back to continue with my projects. I have never been so motivated to work and better myself in as many areas as I can. My favorite thing about being something of an outsider is that, since I am not used to things like interacting with so many young professionals or belonging to an institution that is able to support its students to the extent that Juilliard does, everything is quite new to me. We literally have everything at this school! So many resources are just waiting to be used and there are so many more that we can create and extremely hardworking people who will rarely say no to a good jam. I can even get paid to speak about MYSELF on this blog, which is just priceless.
In all, I am very happy with how I have grown this year, and even if there are many things about myself and my surroundings that could definitely improve, I can say that this environment is really good in allowing you to be able to be excited about what is to come.
I am super excited for the summer because, after it passes, I will be ready for an exciting new year at my dream school!