Everyone I have met at Juilliard has had a different experience pre-Juilliard. I have friends here who have spent their entire childhoods dreaming of getting into Juilliard and I know students who didn't even think they would get in so they didn't even consider truly having their lives continue into adulthood at Juilliard. For me, I wasn't sure either way and honestly never thought I would move across the country from Los Angeles to New York in the first place. Of course Juilliard is a dream come true for anybody, so it was in the back of my mind growing up, however, who can ever anticipate actually getting into Juilliard? (NOT ME!)
I knew that I wanted to be a performing artist, however, I honestly believed that I was going to be a jazz singer-songwriter and attend Berklee or UCLA. In preparation for my future in college, I worked my tail off in school, getting good grades, participating in sports and having lots of extracurricular activities. Of course doing well on SAT's and reading a lot, in and out of school, was on my list of priorities, but I mostly enjoyed writing music, playing basketball and getting my black belt in karate. I was lucky that my hard work paid off and I got accepted into many schools, but as soon as I got the acceptance letter from Juilliard, I think my family and I knew that this is where I belong.
(Me when I found out I got in to Juilliard)
Post acceptance into the school but still pre-Juilliard days, I was freaking out. It took me a really long time to truly process the fact that I was actually going to leave the only state I had ever lived in and move across the country to a place where the people walk at 100MPH and the seasons actually change. Despite these things though, I would say the hardest thing for me was realizing that I was going to have to live in New York City without the safety net of my parents being there for me. Growing up, I was always very close with my parents and still talk to them on Skype every day. It's always a major reunion with a lot of emotion (especially from my beautiful mother) and it still seems so strange to be so far away, but it does get easier especially since we keep in contact all of the time.
With the change of not having my parents by my side at all times, I had to finally learn how to "adult". This subject includes to-do lists, laundry, money managing, scheduling, emailing, and much more. I am still in the learning process and will probably be learning how to be an adult for the rest of my life, however, I am so grateful that I did have to experience this process because I have ultimately become a much more organized, responsible, and efficient person which all began when I had to figure out how to fit my entire life at home into 5 suitcases.
The journey continues as I strive to be an independent adult. It hasn't been easy, but I am working on it every day. Simple things like actually eating dinner, getting work done on time, showing up to lessons prepared, and still having time for a life (what is this social life you speak of?), are all things that I have to work for. This second year has been a lot better. I haven't overslept any classes and I have managed to stay healthy so far (knock on wood). Overall I love my adventure and I can't wait to see what the rest of this school year will bring.
'Till Next Time!