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People always tell you that post-secondary is where your life will change. It’s when you finally grow up, be independent, and truly be free (by “free” I mean without parental supervision). I don’t doubt this for a second. I truly do believe that the moment I start University, it will be the moment when I will realize how dependent I was on my parents and if I’m able to make a steady transition to being 99.9% independent.

But let’s take a step back for a moment… My transition to becoming independent and growing up, becoming a stronger, better version of myself started in high school.

When I first came to the school, I never really focused on school work and getting my definition of “good grades”. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, so I took a variety different courses along with the mandatory ones and tested the waters. One course though I knew I wanted to take from elementary school. I loved music. Music was my passion. Not only did I love listening to a wide variety of genres, but I also LOVED the clarinet. After picking up the instrument, it was a complete stress reliever.

The first day of school, I realized that I wasn’t the only one who had a passion for instrumental music. Our class was filled with about 90 students. It seemed like this was a place where people who normally wouldn’t talk would talk and get along. I couldn’t be more right. I have always been a quiet type of girl. Don’t get me wrong, I love making new friends, but I’m also extremely shy around people who I feel aren’t exactly “my type”. With that being said, I usually wouldn’t socialize with said people unless they approached me.

As the years progressed, I watch the classes get smaller and smaller. In my final year, there were only about 25 people who still took the course… But these people became my family. The music room was a home away from home. When you feel like you’re being judged every inch in the hallways and in classrooms, the music room was somewhere I always felt safe. Our teacher was always one of the best in the school. She was like our mom. She cared about us and the department more than anything. She’s always there to listen and help when you need it, she’s the one who will save your ass if you get into trouble, and she’s the only teacher I feel comfortable talking to about my problems. Through these 4 years, everyone in my class have seen me evolve into the person I am today. My closest friends were all in this department. Actually, my best friend is also in this department and we’re going to be moving in to University together!

Not only did this department help me make new friends, but it also made me open up to more people and to the endless amount of possibilities. It also gave me the strength to have more confidence in my abilities and talents. It wasn’t just a journey to improve my musical abilities, but it was a journey that changed my life. I still remember being the shy, sometimes awkward girl, reading off her notes when presenting an ISP (Independent Study Project). But by the time I was going to graduate, I an no longer that shy, awkward girl. I was presenting my ISP and talking to everyone like an extrovert. I guess the best description for me now is that I’m in between an extrovert and introvert. Can be social, but likes her independence. Now, I can’t exactly say that this change was 100% because of the music department, but this department sure was a huge part of this.

“One Band, One Sound”