Freshman year at the conservatory.


Why is it so hard? I think I’ve had it so much harder than others. I did take more credits than most people last semester, without even knowing for the first 2 months, but GEEZ.. it’s as though I were living all the adolescent mistakes packed in four months that other people have already gone through during junior high and high school years. Back home, until I moved down here in late August, I had no social life. My life existed among home, teacher’s house, school every now and then, and conservatory occasionally, without friends (other than online ones, whom I love dearly!), and I usually didn’t have to worry about school assignments until a couple days before due dates.. Now so many people, so many things that I have to take care of myself came full into my face, and much of the time I felt like I were swimming with closed eyes, not knowing how worse or better it would get or when it’s going to be over.. and WHY do liberal arts professors expect SO much of us?? I was so tired all the time, even more stressed out and drained than in highschool, especially the last 1.5 months of the semester. On top of that, being exposed to direct contact with so many people, especially guys shamelessly and incessantly and somewhat randomly hitting on you, and trying to make friends and sustain relationships.. just getting used to having so many people around has cost me so much time and energy. I felt like I was living hell the last 3 weeks of the first semester, all kinds of negative feelings, sense of inadequacy, failure, and guilt for my stupidity, inexperience and lack of will weighing down on me with unbearable heaviness… I am very distracted if my surroundings are disorderly, and just keeping up the relative organization and cleanliness of my room and all that was a great cause for stress all on its own.

On the other hand, I have learned a great deal.. one awesome thing about NEC is that it has a great jazz program as well, and I became aware of many important truths watching jazz musicians practice and perform. And ironically, all the painful feelings I had to experience somehow permeated through my playing also, and I feel a more direct connection between my playing and my emotional intentions.. I have also become the (un)official super solfege hero Solfege has also helped me a lot with my playing. 😛 This semester, I am actually taking voice lessons, because I have clearly seen this time how important it is to know how to sing anything that you play on your instrument. Things I passed off as too obviously fundamental like this have come to hit a direct chord with me this time.

Now that the second semester has started, I do feel more positive and, ready..? Also, I am no longer taking 17 credits.. so my life is already better. Nonetheless, this week being the first week back at school, I have a crazy number of things to take care of.. annoying chores like visiting the academic advisor’s office every other day, student office, joining the Y, buying things, chasing after professors of courses that I want to switch to, chasing after accompanists, paying the bills, etc etc.. and I also forgot to bring my I-20 when I traveled to Canada, which is a form you need to have to get into the states as an international student, so I have to go to the Government Centre and spend the whole day there on Thursday.. I also got a new endpin installed and need to travel 40 minutes to adjust my sound (this is so frustrating, I want my sound back), send my grandma in Korea a birthday card and a present via express mail (cuz I’m already late!).

Anyway. Maybe I just complain too much. 😛 Hehe.. this is getting so long.. but lately, every time I look at a grown-up, I marvel at him/her for having dealt with all this and growing up to be such an adult that they are.. how did they go through all this? When I was young I thought I would make my life so special, but nowadays I feel that jus to *live* an okay life is already so hard. I feel like asking every adult “how did you DO it?” brrr.. wish me luck for my second crack at an adult life.. because I really think I need it now.

Much humbled,