What Juilliard Means To Me
When I first was accepted to Juilliard, I had no idea what I had in store. From new friends, new classes, and new teachers, to a complete and total new me. I have discovered what being a Juilliard student means and after surviving a whole year at Juilliard, I have discovered what Juilliard truly means to me.
Juilliard means inspiration
I have never in my life imagined that I would have so many talented people and world renowned coaches/teachers to make me feel like I am in exactly the right place and with Lincoln Center and the Met right outside of my window, it was almost hard to feel uninspired. Throughout the year, I had learned to hold myself to the high expectation of artistic perseverance and stamina by working hard, managing my time correctly, and taking every opportunity. I am not going to lie, though. I had very tough days in which I would feel like I couldn't make it through and that was when I discovered the second thing that Juilliard means to me:
Juilliard means family
My Juilliard friends are amazing. It is always tough to meet new people and, especially in a new environment where people have completely different ways of thinking, I never expected to have such amazing people fly into my life and change it forever. My friends were there with me going through the same crazy time that I was. We were all up at three in the morning writing essays together, we were all sitting in the practice rooms for hours together figuring out Dr. Oquin's Starer exercises, and most important, we were all there for each other when we needed people in our lives for encouragement and love. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to know these people, who have already made such a huge impact on my life, for many years to come.
Juilliard means hard work
As soon as I stepped onto the campus, I immediately realized that the rumors were true and that Juilliard is indeed a school of the most excellent, most hard working, most talented people that I would ever meet in my life. Actors that I know are going to be famous in a few short years would casually pass by me in the hallway rehearsing some complicated scenes of beautiful Shakespeare. Dancers that could lift their legs higher than the moon would be rehearsing in the room right next to me. And musicians that have the most amazing ability to play anything flawlessly would ring out in the practice rooms next to mine. When I experienced all these amazing people all at once, I realized I was going to have to work my butt off to come to a similar level as them. I felt inspired, terrified, and honored all at once because I knew that I was in the perfect place to become the best singer I could be. The work for my classes, performances, collaborations, and jobs will all be worth it eventually and I know that with hard work I will become the artist that I have always dreamed of becoming.
Finally, Juilliard means being available
The most important thing I think that I have learned so far in the last year at Juilliard is that Juilliard will give back exactly what you put in. If you work hard, Juilliard will turn you into one of the best in the world. There is no denying that Juilliard provides all the resources someone would need in order to succeed in the world. The only thing that the school asks for in return is availability. This means showing up, putting in your best effort, and making sure you are always prepared. By learning to do these things, I noticed that I began to improve myself. I could feel my voice changing, my energy rising, and my whole self developing into the productive and hard working person I have always wanted to become. The skills of professionalism, excellence, and flawless technique are some of the things that Juilliard can give back in return for hard work.
All in all, I am so humbled by the opportunity to study here and so motivated to continue on my full journey through this school to become the well rounded person that I aspire to become. Thank you for reading.
By Maggie Reneé Valdman