Things I Learned the Semester I Couldn’t Sing

So, during my third semester of college, I had to deal with the unfortunate circumstance of being unable to sing for nearly two months.  And as a vocal performance major, this was devastating.  This obstacle wreaked havoc not only on my education, but on my emotions and psyche.  Over fall break, I went home and had a voice lesson with my high school voice teacher who knows me both as a performer and as a person better than most other humans on this planet, and he said to me, “Maybe this is just something you had to go through.  You’re learning a lot, and you’re going to come out stronger for it.”  And he was right.  I saw an ENT who assured me that everything would be fine after I take some antibiotics and give it a week of vocal rest.  After that, I slowly began singing again and recovered faster than ever before.  In my most recent voice lessons back at college, my professor told me that he didn’t think I’d get back to where I’d been as fast as I did and that I was getting stronger and stronger by the day.  Even so, my high school voice teacher had been right; I did learn a lot:

  1. It’s not the end of the world.  Everything will be alright in time.
  2. Maybe this happened because there is something you needed to learn from it.
  3. You’re going to hit rough patches in the road, but that doesn’t mean you’re travelling down the wrong path.
  4. You have to be your own advocate.
  5. Most people aren’t out to ruin your life using the things that are out of your control against you.
  6. If you really love the music, it will find its way back to you.
  7. Rarely are accolades, inclusion in a given group, and sometimes even grades an accurate representation of your abilities and talent.
  8. Past obstacles made you stronger so current ones don’t set you back as far.
  9. You can tell some people to practice the way they perform, and they will try, but try as they might, there’s just something that clicks when it’s “places.”

The aforementioned are things that I learned dealing with that specific situation, but I learned plenty of other things throughout this third semester of college, and they are as follows:

  1. Study in small increments even if it’s over the course of one night.
  2. Anyone can win an election depending upon the way votes are counted. -Professor Wangsness
  3. Some professors are terrible at powerpoints.
  4. You can never completely, concretely know what another person is thinking or feeling.  The sooner you stop trying and get over it, the better.  You just have to trust and believe in him.
  5. If you don’t let anyone in, you will go through everything in life- the good, the bad, and the ugly- alone.
  6. Parents grow up too.
  7. College theater is so much better than high school theater.
  8. We’re not always mad about today.  Sometimes we’re mad that today reminds us of yesterday.
  9. If you really want to scare me, surprise me by playing “Turn Down for What.”
  10. Mixing two really bad songs together makes one mediocre, sometimes even good, song.
  11. It may be more difficult adjusting to life in London next semester than it will be adjusting to life in Florence.
  12. Don’t be ashamed of your happiness.
  13. Most bikers on campus are dudebros who could care less about running you over.
  14. How to properly use the word “dudebro.”
  15. Chivalry is not dead.
  16. Curiosity really did kill the cat.
  17. There are few things more fascinating than watching a symphony orchestra warm up.
  18. If you’re constantly only looking at your size, you miss how beautiful you truly are.
  19. Social experiments are fascinating.
  20. There is nothing wrong with questioning the path you’re on.  It’s a fact of life.
  21. There are so many different “yous” that make up the really great person that is “you.”  None of them is more true than another, they just reveal themselves with different people and in different situations.  It’s weird to think how people would react if they were to see a different “you” than they’re used to.
  22. Your Facebook profile says a lot about you.  And not always what you think you’re saying or what you want to say.
  23. I like making stupid, funny Facebook posts because I know they make people laugh.  We all need a little more laughter in our lives.
  24. The saying that people who always make others laugh are actually the saddest themselves?  I think that’s true.  It’s how they cheer themselves up- knowing that they can bring joy to others.
  25. Never demand perfection.  Always expect your best.
  26. Your best is good enough.  It has to be.
  27. You have to love yourself first.
  28. Every time there is an improv show on campus, my life goes to shit.
  29. Guys in white sports coats playing jazz are so attractive.
  30. Boys only want to see you when you’re gone.
  31. Cellos are beautiful.
  32. The best guys are the ones who love their girlfriends’ friends like sisters.
  33. It’s not Christmas without snaps. -Dr. Allen Hightower III
  34. Immortality is not a gift. –The Age of Adeline
  35. Israel offered Albert Einstein the presidency in 1952. –The Age of Adeline
  36. As we go through life, our soul recognizes something in other people, and that’s who we fall in love with.
  37. Not everyone shows he cares in the same way.
  38. Thanksgiving is not a time of the year; it is an attitude of the heart. -Pastor Jackie Cook
  39. Thanksgiving appreciation.  Thanksgiving is an “adult” holiday that we grow into.  When we’re younger we don’t really appreciate how beautiful and special it really is.
  40. Stop worrying.  Most of the things you worry about are out of your control, will work themselves out on their own anyway, or are fictitious problems that you created for yourself.
  41. Adding “and shit” to the end of everything makes you sound more badass (and shit). -Dr. “Queen” E
  42. “The secret to a happy life is accepting that you’re never in control.” –Jurassic World
  43. “People panic [at the holidays] because they think they can schedule happiness.” –Love the Coopers
  44. Some things just aren’t meant to be.
  45. We’re not unhappy because we’re lonely.  We’re unhappy because we look to the wrong places to be fulfilled.
  46. I have 3 “types” that are reincarnated in my life over and over again.
  47. So much has changed in four years, but so much is “a variation on a theme” (Sunday in the Park with George).
  48. I’m really good at leaving.
  49. We put so much stock on words even though they’re a horrible representation of how someone truly feels about us (Sunday in the Park with George).
  50. “The only think worse than a boy you hate is a boy you love.” –The Book Thief
  51. Not everything I learned in high school physics was stupid bullshit (even if I thought it was at the time).
  52. One of the best things a woman can do for herself is to buy a super cute bra and wear it occasionally for no one but herself.
  53. Life has a charming little way of throwing us curveballs.
  54. The mind is a strong thing, and half of being a good test-taker is learning how to soothe it.
  55. The person that’s hardest to say goodbye to is the one you want to be with.
  56. You can’t make chocolate water. -Agnes

Here’s to a new year and another semester of plenty to learn!

-Enjouée

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