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Rediscovering My Passion for Music

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Chapel Hill chapter.

Music has always been a huge part of my life; I’ve played the violin for 15 years, and I can’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t taking music lessons or playing in an orchestra. Being a musician is a huge part of my identity, but I started to lose that part of myself when I began college, this past fall.

As a first-year, I knew that I needed to make an effort not to repeat my classic high school mistake of overcommitting to extracurriculars. I decided not to audition for my university’s symphony orchestra, at least not for my first year of college, so that I could focus my time on getting adjusted to a new environment, studying for classes and making friends. But, once music was no longer built into my life, it slowly disappeared into my periphery. I hardly practiced the violin, once I got to college. Whether or not I was aware of it at the time, neglecting my music caused me to lose a very important part of my identity.

In my senior year of high school, I formed a string trio with two of my closest friends, and we started a business as a wedding ensemble. We had to stop playing when we reached college, since we no longer live in the same city, but, now that we’re all back in town for a few months, we’ll be able to practice again, after stay-at-home orders are lifted. A few weeks ago, we got hired to play a wedding in late summer, so we now have dozens of pieces to prepare for a couple’s special day.

One of my roles within our trio is arranging the pieces we play together. Now that we have a gig lined up, I have the opportunity to arrange, and eventually rehearse, music once again. When I started arranging pieces for this wedding, I felt more like myself again; I hadn’t even realized that a part of me had been missing. Arranging music has become my favorite and most productive way to spend my quarantine, and it has inspired me to practice the violin again.

Quarantine has been pretty rough for my own mental health, and I’ve had to increase my (now-virtual) therapy sessions, since moving out of my dorm. In these crazy, changing circumstances, it’s hard to stay positive, but I’m trying to take comfort in the fact that isolation has given me an opportunity to hit the reset button and remember what’s important to me in life. 

Remember, it’s okay if you haven’t used quarantine to learn a million new hobbies and reinvent yourself. There is no wrong way to cope with our new normal, and it’s important to recognize and acknowledge the things that help you care for yourself. For me, that means rediscovering my passion for music.

A first-year at UNC-Chapel Hill, Isabelle is double majoring in Advertising and Public Relations and Dramatic Arts. In her free time, she enjoys reading, painting and watching Derry Girls.