Four years ago today I was in grade 12 and freaking out because my plan for after high school wasn’t working out. I was getting rejection letters for a program I had been planning on getting into at some university and didn’t have a backup. I auditioned at the local college as my backup and got in on the spot. But that wasn’t good enough for me because I wanted to go to university so I could become a teacher.
I wanted to go to university to get a Bachelor of Music degree. I wanted to get it from the University of Western Ontario. None of that was going to happen. What was I going to do? Why didn’t I realize that I wasn’t going to be accepted into this program before? I was misinformed that if you want to audition to play piano, you had to have started at the age of 3 and be so amazing and practice at least 3 hours a day. I was a little angry because I had no idea and if I had known I would have taken private lessons in clarinet and just auditioned in clarinet and would have gotten my Bachelor of Music with that.
My plan C became to take a year off and study and practice clarinet a lot and audition with that the following year. But I wanted to go to university NOW!
In my rejection letter from the University of Ottawa, (which only accepts 6 pianists per year - that made me feel less harsh on myself once I found that out in my first year) it briefly mentioned that I could take this other music program - a bachelor of arts with a major in music. I had never thought of that before and I had no idea it even existed. I decided to just apply. Initial applications were due 2 months before that but I decided to try anyways.
I was deciding whether to go to Mohawk College or not since I had been accepted. That basically became my plan because I wanted to continue being in school. Then one day I casually checked online and I had been accepted for this program I hadn’t heard of or considered at UOttawa. I was so excited but I still had to consider my options for a bit.
I accepted the offer and now I’m about to graduate once again. From the University of Ottawa. My degree will be: Honours Bachelor of Arts with Specialization in Music with a Minor in French as a Second Language. This was the best program for me because it allowed me to take the same courses as all the bachelor of music students but it was even better - I didn’t have the pressure of practicing for hours a day. I did take lessons my first year and I had a jury for both the fall and winter semesters, but after that I stopped and for once was able to just play and practice piano for pleasure. I didn’t have to stress about how much I was practicing on top of my courses. I obviously did not want to become a concert pianist - I wanted to go into education. This program suited me.
Now once again I have the stress, like I did four years ago during another leap year, of waiting to hear from teachers colleges. They don’t do early acceptances so I have to wait until April 2nd. I will probably be online at midnight of the 1st/into the 2nd to see. I really hope that I get into my first choice - Western. I don’t really have a favoured second choice, but I’m really just hoping to get into somewhere.
A lot has changed in these 4 years. Mostly just that I have worked so hard for this degree and I really feel like I deserve it. I have also had relationship changes for the better and have grown closer to my close friends.
Who knows what my life will be like during the next leap year! 2016! Seems so far away.