Giving What You Have
If I could possibly sum up the Fall 2013 semester in one word, I would have to say that word would be enlightening. Not in the pseudo-sentimental connotation but in the real and present definition. When I decided to transfer to Belmont back in January, I knew that God had something incredible in store for me. What I did not know or expect, however, was the volume and intensity of what I was walking into. An unveiling has been taking place day by day since I stepped on campus in August.
Here in Nashville, you see purpose take many shapes and forms. It can be as small as jamming with friends outside at night, and it can be as large as performing with over a hundred of your colleagues in the School of Music for a nationally televised taping of Christmas at Belmont. The product of transferring has been amazing. I feel more confident in my musical ability than I ever have, I love the faculty here more than I ever imagined I could love any group of teachers ever, and most of all, I love music and everything it contains immeasurably. While this is all beautiful and motivating, it’s easy for people to miss the often meticulous life that also comes along with being a transfer student.
Let’s face it. When someone leaves anywhere that they have spent a considerable amount of time in, they leave friends, colleagues, family, and in many cases, a part of themselves. When I left Boston back in May, I had to leave some of the most genuine friends I’ve made in order to follow my path and pursue what I believe God has planned for me. I had to leave a city that felt like home, a city that seemed to work itself around me and my interests, and city that has an incomparable amount of history and places to explore. Looking back, it’s easy to say I had it pretty good when I was still there, but I was miserable. The details as to why are a bit personal, but none of the reasons as to why I transferred to Belmont are out of the ordinary.
In the midst of the problems that come with transferring, whether it be a different financial situation, going to a school with different rules and values, studying with teachers that have different priorities and expectations than previous ones, and so on and so forth; there are a lot of positive experiences that I’ve had coming out of it. One example is that I am one of 5 classical percussion performance majors at Belmont…talk about exclusive treatment. And my professor studied for 6 years at the Eastman School of Music with John Beck, not to mention his classmates are currently some of the most prominent faculty members at the top music conservatories and sought after soloists in the world. The connections make you realize how small the music world really is, and how possible your goals are if you simply take the time to get to know people. I’ve learned and progressed more in one semester than I did in some of my high school years. Maybe it’s a mental thing, maybe it’s physical maturity, or more than likely, it’s a reassurance that I am where God wants me to be in this season of my life. Now that’s pretty amazing.
Now there’s so much more I could talk about, but I really only have the energy to write about one more thing. This semester, I’ve really had the blessing of understanding what really makes relationships with people in college tick. The people I met during welcome week were all transfer students, and by some miraculous cacophony of intentionality, we stuck together through this semester. Trying to live life with up 18 different people all trying to be close friends stretches one a little thin, but stretching yourself thin is almost like sacrificing a part of yourself to make lasting relationships with people. And then there is a select number of people outside this group who I’ve become incredibly close to. It’s weird in a sense that if one thing had changed at any point with these relationships, I might not have even known these people before I graduate. When people talk about God placing certain people in their lives, I think this is the kind of situation they’re talking about. All it takes is introducing yourself or seeing a familiar face from a meeting in one of your classes to begin something that escalates toward lifelong friendships. And the thing that I’ve learned from these experiences is that finding your true purpose in college and making good relationships is never about getting what you want…
It’s about giving what you have.