Take everything one day at a time and don't be too hard on yourself.
In the past year, I have grown not only as a musician, but as an individual. All of my teachers are incredible, and I feel so fortunate to be able to study with some of the best musicians in the world. The conservatory is superb in all aspects, but my friends that I have met in Cleveland have forever changed my life, and I know they will always be a part of my life. In a new and intimidating environment, your friends are the key to succeeding and thriving. We have grown so much together in only a year, and I look forward to what other adventures we are going to have together in the upcoming years. My experience at the conservatory has allowed me to venture into adulthood with confidence and ever-growing inspiration. I feel that by surrounding myself with top-notch musicians and incredible friends, I am able to become the person I am meant to be. I am discovering myself day by day, and with the help of my teachers and my colleagues, my future is being laid right before my eyes. I cannot express how enthusiastic I am for the upcoming years at the conservatory.
Continue to work hard in school and on your instrument. It is well worth all the time spent to get to where you want to be. Enjoy the time that you have left in high school, but know that all your hard work in the past year has paid off. The transition will be tough because it is such a different place and way of life, but you know this is where you are supposed to be. Leaving your friends and family from home will be difficult at first, but you will keep in touch and you will find great new friends who share your love for music. Your passion for music and for your instrument will drive you to work hard during your first year, and always have your eye on that final goal you hope to achieve by the end of your time at college.
Savor every minute. I think the phrase carpe diem is cliche for a reason. Knowing how I handled freshman year, I would grab my high school senior self, and shake him by the shoulders and say "YOU MUST MAXIMIZE YOUR EXPERIENCE!!!" In college, you cannot take anything for granted because the availibility of resources can shift from semester to semester. That is a nice feature, so you have a lot of options, but you MUST take adavangte of them when you have the opportunity.
On another note, positivity is the only other thing I'll stress to my high school self. There are too many beautiful relationships to be made, and if you go through school being an asshole (or just not as nice as you possibly can be) then things in every walk of life can suffer. Beyond the trumpet there is more depth than I could have know at that age, but I urge you young Conrad Jones to treat others the way you want to be treated and to work as hard as you can with Prof. Sullivan becuase he is going to leave and you don't know it yet!!!!!!!
Back in high school, before I decided I wanted to pursue music as a career, grades meant everything. I didn't hang out with friends, I never stoped working and always keept a strict schedule even during breaks. I worked really hard for school but failed to see the broader picture and the meaning of life. Now into my second year in school was when I realized that it's not the grade that matters, but how much you are learning and growing as a person. Instead being overly stressed about being the best in class, I focused on learning more than just to prepare for the test. Therefore, I was actually enjoying the material I was studying. Learning is such an excitement that can only be the most effective when it is self motivated. Also, I allowed myself to take a break, see the world and do things that I wouldn't normally do. Now I see life as a promising enjoyment instead of working and competing only to achieve something. I am truly thankful for the discovery and would continue to motivate myself and discover more of life.
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