A few years ago when I transferred to a new college I spoke to a professor within the music department. I did not personally know the professor, and I was simply seeking advice about whether or not I should minor or even major in music.
Within the approximately twenty minute conversation my dreams were dashed and my hopes for assistance were gone. The most stinging phrase I recall was something along the lines of: “It’s not like we can guarantee you getting into the Quincy Symphony or anything”.
As a senior looking back I’ve had many opportunities to seek advice and ask for opinions of professors, co-workers, peers, and family members. A student who willingly looks for advice from a professor is clearly motivated to create some sort of change, especially if the meeting is one set-up by the student. This professor I mentioned before is not the only professor who has been unsupportive of me at the different schools I have attended, and I cannot believe that I’m the only one who has experienced this. Fortunately, the majority of my professors here have been accommodating, helpful, and often inspirational; but it seems as if the words that sometimes stick the most are the negatives.
Then again, sometimes we have more motivation to prove people wrong when we are faced with adversity. In this particular circumstance, I realized a minor or major in music was not necessarily an option for me, but after a simply email inquiry I found myself playing with the Quincy Symphony Orchestra and subsequently three other bands as well as side projects (it sounds really cool – but I cannot brag – I’m definitely not the best player by any stretch of the imagination!). BUT, guess what? I try. I took the initiative and I’m making the best of things, I like to think that that’s what matters in life.
While it definitely depends on the circumstances, knowing thyself and having the wherewithal to just put yourself out there and give things a try is important. In fact, that’s one of the key aspects of being in college. If you’re in college, you’re htere to bank on opportunities and improve yourself by getting an education; you might as well make the most of it as you are literally paying for it.
(this blog was adapted from a piece I published in my school’s newspaper)