Looking back, I believe I had a really good year. Of course not every day was perfect, but it was a year I realized who I was, who I want to be, and who I am. I found something to stand for, and made many adventures and friends along the way.
The New Year is coming soon, just hours away actually, I am welcoming this new year with open arms, because change is a natural thing. I know that there are many changes coming in 2016, and it will take some adjustment.
Speaking of, college was a huge adjustment for a lot of people, including me. But luckily, I found a bunch of new friends, learned how to use my meal plan properly, and keep a budget (sort of). I even found out that Cinema Studies wasn't for me, although I did learn how to sit in a room for four and a half hours, and watch The Passion of Joan of Arc in COMPLETE silence. And remember, your GPA is just a number. So what, it was low the first semester? You're still getting accustomed to everything. Try harder, and even your best, the next time around. It does not reflect who you are as a person. For those of you who did do well, great job! (that's not sarcasm). Everyone learns differently and everyone works differently. You'll get somewhere in the long run.
In short, I hope everyone has a very happy and healthy new year, and I hope your holidays, whatever you celebrated, were fantastic too! Make yourself happy this year, and do it because you want to, not because it appeals to anyone else.
Before the ball drops, I'm going to drop some good news:
I'm excited to announce I'll be releasing a novel at the end of February, part of the new projects and goals I've set for myself to do (which I will be working on for the majority of winter break), along with a book of poetry I hope to release in late April. So there's something to look forward to.
When I was younger, being on the stage was my dream. From sitting on the risers in the Junior versions of The Lion King, Wizard of Oz and Beauty and the Beast, to having a very small role in My Fair Lady my senior year, the stage has been a second home for me. I always loved the costumes, and watching the characters come to life in the show, whether it was Hello, Dolly! or Into the Woods. I was thankful enough to be in a school district that respected the arts as much as I did.
Or so I thought...
Budget cuts: The Arts' worst enemy. I have been told that in a few of the elementary schools in my town have cut their music program which really got my blood boiling. The highlight of fourth grade was getting to pick our instrument and be in either the band or orchestra. (I played the viola up until sophomore year). It was fun. We made friends in these groups. And we were being challenged early in the morning. I looked forward to it.
I believe that a music education at a young age is beneficial to children. That sense of accomplishment when you play the piece right, sing the high note in a difficult song, and learning everything that goes into music. An arts education in general is a good thing, too. Without music in elementary, kids will never be exposed to it at this young a crucial age. Don't let them become robots.
I came from a town that was very sports oriented, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Come to think of it, we had a few "jocks" in our chorus over the years. It wasn't that hierarchy that everyone has in mind. And it proves that you don't have to do just one thing in high school. You don't have to just be the Quarterback, you can sing baritone in choir. I have friends who love math, and they are incredibly talented at artwork. You can be well-rounded.
My best friend goes to choir college. I went to her family weekend concert and I sat there listening to these students and felt something. Seeing passionate people come together to make something beautiful is the best thing ever. And you could tell they were all into it. I loved that.
The world needs arts educators. With the right amount of drive, you can do anything. Pursue your passions, and explore new ones! The possibilities are endless.
Do you know why they say "Starving Artist?" It doesn't mean that you're not going to eat ever again. It means that you have a hunger for more than your everyday life. You have an appetite to express and perform. Don't let anyone stop you from doing what you love (that includes yourself).