Back to School

I absolutely love the beginning of a new semester – I can’t help it, but it has the same amount of excitement as New Years Eve for me. Fresh starts are addicting… that’s why we always push our goals to start “next week.” On Monday, of course. 😉

Fresh starts are so addicting and this semester is no different. This is quite possibly going to be the busiest semester yet! I’ve finally gotten professional standing (yay!) For those of you who don’t know, Professional Standing means that I have jumped through the necessary hoops in order to take the upper level education courses needed to graduate. So close – I can see the end in sight! While I’m so excited and thankful to finally have professional standing, I’m taking three (repeat, three) of our intense method classes this semester. It’s going to be a lot of work, but I’m really excited to dive into my major even more!

Besides diving even deeper into my education degree, I am so excited about all of the performance opportunities this semester! I’m performing as Despina in a concert that is showcasing multiple Mozart opera scenes. I’m a soloist for a Gounod Mass, a hired soloist for an Aria Society’s luncheon, and a bunch more! I’m most excited for my school’s Concerto Competition! Every year all of the music majors compete in this competition and three students are chosen as the winners. The students that win get to perform their concerto pieces with a larger ensemble later in the year. It’s a huge honor and I can’t wait to compete.

Performed in my first Voice Area already this semester!

Most importantly, I want this semester to be about personal growth and cultivating a healthier lifestyle for both my mind and body. Change wont happen over night, but I’m taking it one day at a time. Last semester was really rough, but I’ve been meditating more, exercising more, and it’s been a drastic change in my mental health.

Self Care is #1!

Gym w/ Nicole. It’s not cute, but we’re doing it!

Things are really looking up this semester and I can’t wait to see how everything pans out. If this is your first semester in college, especially music school – Welcome! You are bound to succeed in whatever you set your mind to! Stay on task, work hard, be your best musical self, and enjoy every second.

I’m not an expert whatsoever, but if you’re still feeling a little anxious, here are my best tips for the semester ahead. I’ve found these tips to be monumental in my success in music school and I know you can succeed too.

Tips to Survive Music School

  • Carry a water bottle at all timesSeriously. Even if you’re not a vocalist like myself, being constantly on the go means you sometimes forget to take care of yourself. Gotta stay hydrated! Like I said before, Self care is #1!
  • Stay on track – While I say “stay on track,” if you can, always try to stay ahead. Know your deadlines in advance, do the homework that’s due a week from now, start working on that piece you’ve been putting off. Putting things off snowballs so fast in music school and once you’re on that track, it’s really hard to get off.
  • Invest in your agenda – If you’re not a naturally organized person, having an agenda you want to put time into will help change that. Having an agenda is a great way to stay on track and look at your obligations months in advance. I cannot stress how much my planner has saved me this year!
  • Sleep – as much as possible. This is pretty self explanatory, but sometimes we really need a reminder…
  • Professionalism – I know this doesn’t seem like a “survival tip,” but it is. Professionalism is key. My school preaches this for sure, but it is so important and unprofessionalism can really deter you from getting that role or getting that job. Be as professional as possible.
  • Enjoy it – You don’t have to spend your whole college career trapped in your music building. I’m not saying don’t be dedicated to your craft, but it’s okay to enjoy your time at college a little bit too! Granted, we definitely spend 99% of our time in the music building, but don’t be afraid to let yourself go out and have fun once in a while. Grab coffee with friends, stay home and watch an episode of your favorite show, start a hobby that isn’t music. I promise you, your instrument and music will always be there waiting for you when you come back.

What’s the most helpful piece of advice you received when starting college for the first time? Let me know in the comments below!