The Beginning of Your Story

“Welcome to the beginning of your story!”

This has been the opening line to each email I’ve opened this past week. The fall semester has begun and now I am officially a college student.

To say I have handled this transition easily would be an understatement. I feel completely lost in a sea of people and ideas. I knew this was going to be different from high school, but I really wasn’t ready.

Before me is an endless road of possibility. I have the chance to reinvent myself without any pressure.

A fresh slate. No hurt from the past, no familiar faces.

Just me.

This first day has been strange. I walk around trying not to look too much like a freshman, but also remind myself that literally no one else cares how you look.

Currently , I am sitting in the hub of the university: The Memorial Union. This place holds a strange atmosphere. It is unlike a cafeteria, even though it pretty much is. I’m sure I’ll seek refuge here many times form the disgusting heat that will not just leave.

The next few days are going to be interesting and full of loads of anxiety, but I’m curious to see how they go.

Alright college, lets do this.

Wait, You’re A Latina ? 

There is nothing more confusing than being a mixed kid. 

When I was little, I was the only girl at church with darker features. Everyone else had blonde hair and bright eyes. 

At first, this didn’t bother me. I thought I was the coolest thing being half Puerto Rican. When you’re small, race doesn’t seem to exist. You’re just all people together that look a bit different. 

Once I hit the age of 10, race began to be real. All my peers began to talk about it because we now knew what it meant. This is when life became confusing. 

I have a white mom, but a Puerto Rican dad. What was I? My school records said Hispanic, but everyone said that I was white.  I had no clue where my identity was.

By 12, I was at the awkward stage that we all wish was buried away from the world. I had gone through a school year of torment and now was even more confused about my identity but I was also angry. 

I hated how I looked. I wasn’t like the other girls who seemed to have it all. Their golden locks always so pretty and their really cool looking eyes. I felt so plain. 

I tried everything to fit in with the super preppy girls. They had the life I thought I wanted . When I entered high school, I still had no real idea of who I was. I just had an image I was trying to replicate. 

The voices in my head would constantly remind me of the ugliness and self hatred I had towards my body. It didn’t help when I entered the great big world of boys . Those girls blessed with locks of sunshine and brilliant blue eyes seemed to catch the attention of boys all the time. I didn’t attract much at all. The voices told me very clearly ” look at them, they’ve got the full package, you’re just the ugly duckling silly!” 

Seventeen  is when things began to shift. I was rebuilding myself again after another very rough year. This time around, I told myself I was sick of the lies. I wanted to be authenticly me. 

This started with looking to my past. I found so many amazing ancestors, from both sides. My pride in my heritage grew rapidly and suddenly, I didn’t see being mixed as a burden. 

I have stories of resilience threaded through my history. The white side has some of the first United States citizens and  pioneers . The Puerto Rican side has slavery, immigrants and native islanders. 

Now, I live with pride. I’m in love with the heritage I posses 
Being more aware of my heritage has brought a new found sense of fight to me. Seeing the injustice breaks my heart and the fight for immigrants makes me remember the family that came to the United States for its dreams and freedom. 

I’m blessed that I can see both sides. This mixed thing isn’t as confusing. I know for the rest of my life I’ll struggle slightly but, I’d rather know that I’m something wonderful. 

Reguardless of what group I feel I belong in , I’ll always know that I’m a melting pot of strong willed people and that is no where near confusing. 

So You Are Just Gonna Play Music All Day For People?

” What are you doing with your life after high school?”

I  have absolutely hated getting  this question for the past 6 months. I do know what I am doing with my life, but once I tell people what I’m doing, they have more questions and then I am stuck in a conversation that I do not want to be in.

When I was trying to decide what to major in, I knew two things: One, I loved music and two, I wanted to help people. I always figured I could minor in music but it just never felt right to have it be the lower study. Everything I was exploring wasn’t sitting right at all. I knew that I certainly did not want to be a performance major and that teaching was never gonna pay enough for my liking, so I thought I would have to give up my music idea. A tad discouraged, I started to research some more. I was looking through a list of music careers when suddenly it popped out; music therapy!

Music therapy is the skillful use of music and musical elements by an accredited music therapist to promote, maintain, and restore mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health. ( Source : www.musictherapyontario.com/page-1090464 )

After I had looked into the field more, I knew this is what I needed to do with my life. The process of application began and before I knew it, I was getting ready to audition for the School of Music at ASU. When I would tell people what I was doing, I would always get a mix of replies like:

“So you’re just playing music for people all day?”

“Is that even a real field of therapy?”

“What are you gonna do exactly?”

” Is this new? I have never heard of it before!”

Then I would be stuck trying to get the idea of my future career in peoples’ heads as they looked at me, pretending to get it, but have the most concerned look in their eyes.

I am working right now on a reaudition for the music school since ASU has a very competitive acceptance to their cello program. I refuse to give up on my goal though.

I can’t wait to start studying in this field. I already have such a passion as I read more, study more and learn more about the practice. I found my happy medium of what I wanted in my life.  It will be such a good path for me and what I want from my life.

So no, I wont be singing to people all day, I’ll just be using my favorite passion to help those around me.

 

 

 

For more info on Music Therapy , visit :

https://www.musictherapy.org/about/musictherapy/

Welcome to Adulthood Kid

You know how all the adults love to warn you when you complain about high school?

” Take it in now! Once you graduate you have to face the realities of life and you’ll wish you could be a teen forever!”

If I got paid each time I heard that , I’d be rich. To be fair, I hated high school so regardless of what people told me I believed that life would be waaaaaay better out of that prison. So far, it really is and I’m excited for the future, but this week decided to be the big ‘ol reality bomb.

To start my week, I officially got my tuition receipt for the first semester of college . I opened my student page, saw the balance and immediately sat down. Honestly believed I had been shot in the gut. The idea of paying for college terrifies me and I don’t understand why it costs so stinking much! Why do I need to pay over $48,000 to become a better educated woman? Basically, I realized how truly broke I will be these next four years.

As a music major, I need the best skills possible so this summer, I have been taking private lessons. This week my teacher told me that it is time to upgrade to professional grade . As exciting as this is, professional cellos cost just about as much as I am paying for my first semester of school, sometimes even more. I’ve been searching on all the realms of the internet to try to get an estimate of how much I need to be saving. After lots of crying over price tags, I came to the conclusion that I can never spend money again. I will hoard all of it like Scrooge.

Mid week, we got the cherry on top. My new car , a used 2007 prius, had a warning light go on right as I was driving to an appointment. After quite a lot of muttering and asking the lord why, I parked and went to the appointment. While waiting to be called back, I turned to the internet for a solution and texted my parents to inform them of my awesome new issue. From what I found, it sounded like it had something to do with the batteries of the car. I informed my mom on my findings and then started looking up the price tag on them. A normal battery costs around $180 , to which I cringed at. The hybrid battery? $5000 !!! That one made me just about have an anxiety attack. I made it through the appointment and got ready to leave. But the car would not start. I was officially stranded . Luckily, my amazing dad came to my rescue and our mad dash around town began. We had to leave the prius at the office , unable to solve the issue and it begin to late for a tow. Thankfully, my dad got in contact with someone who specializes in hybrid batteries. So the next day this expert met us at the car and took a look. It started up and made it back home with no issues, but this didn’t last long.The issues arose once again I ran a few errands.

Looks like it’s time to replace the 10 year old hybrid battery. Thankful this savior hybrid man can do it for less than $1000, but I just keep crying. I am truly embracing the college life style; broke and a mess!

This is the reality all of those adults were just waiting for me to have so I could then tell them they were right about being a teen.

As much as I HATE this money situation, I just have to accept it.

Cause guess what? Life is gonna move with or without me. I’m choosing to roll with it cause its the first of many of these situations.

Life gave me one heck of a welcome to the big leagues this week, but it is not prepared for who its dealing with.

Lets go adulthood; its on.