After leaving Wheaton (with no master’s program in music) and diving straight into a competitive conservatory, I felt a bit shell shocked. There was more to adjust to than I thought whether it was leaving behind my friends, my home, my relationship, and my work and connections.
After living out here for three weeks however, things are starting to settle in — mostly. The subway is easy enough to take but the bus rides don’t always come and go when I want them to (as I live 30 minutes from campus and not in a well transited area). I have a schedule planned out, but it is wildly inconsistent: ensembles placement change monthly as well as when and what days you have to be there. Finding work is difficult (although I’m looking into some options which may actually pan out, fingers crossed). Finding time to workout and stay healthy is always a bit tricky, eating consistently is even harder, and beer here is PRICEY (shout out to Miller high life however for having an 18 pack for $11, that was nice).
But I guess that’s part of the rite of passage of grad school isn’t it?
Undergrad was an easy race to be a part of, but right now I feel like I stepped into a full on sprint and am just trying to keep up There are days where I get a lot done (whether is practice or just doing laundry and cooking) and I feel really motivated to keep pushing hard. There are also days where it’s a trial just to play anything, to meal prep, or to keep up with everyone else… Being in a studio of 30 people is a lot different than a studio of 6 or 7. It’s daunting to see how much raw talent and drive there is around you all the time. But also, that same aura though pushes me to keep going, knowing that someone else is doing the same. It’s what I was looking for, and I feel as though I thrive in it.
So I guess when people ask how grad school is so far, I say that it is very hard, has a lot of complications, and is REALLY EXPENSIVE. But my lessons are superb, the percussionists here are crazy good, the city is amazing, and despite the constant stress of a lot of things, feels worth it. I just have to keep reminding myself that it is and that everyone else has to figure out these things too.
Time to keep trusting that God wants me here, that He will provide, and that this is right even when it feels like I am sometimes running into a brick wall.