Struck a Chord, Pt. I

It’s one thing to learn how to play an instrument: you have to take time to practice, beginning with the easy stuff and gradually progressing to the more challenging pieces and aspects. It’s a whole other thing, though, for you to learn something about yourself from an instrument, and that is just what I have done. In this first establishment, read the following list of five important life lessons I have learned from my ukulele.

1. It’s okay to be out of tune sometimes.

Life would be super boring if we were all the same, let alone if everyone was perfect. Having a spunky fashion taste or a general swagger are a few of the things that set us apart from one another. Embrace the unique, embrace the weird, and always embrace the moments when you stand out in a crowd. Be out of tune and proud of it!

2. Bigger isn’t always better.

In life, it’s easy to get caught up in titles, achievements, and money. All those things are great, but sometimes it’s the little things that matter more, like a goodnight text from your significant other or a compliment from one of your besties about your hair some morning. Compared to its cousin the guitar, the ukulele’s small size isn’t difficult to relate with the possibility of what it has to offer; its sound, though, when given the chance, is one of the happiest among all other stringed instruments. My point is this: don’t sell yourself short, because you are worth so much more and it goes to show that bigger is NOT always better.

3. Pick sharp friends.

When we surround ourselves with peers, we generally pick up the same habits they have, whether for the good, the bad, or the ugly. Take the opportunity to find friends who value education; who are hard-working and dedicated to achieving success (you’re in college, for crying out loud!); who value self-respect; who treat their bodies (and the hearts of others) like temples. Choose to make friends with people whose habits you will be proud to look back on and whose habits will make you a better version of yourself because that is a decision you will never regret.

4. There’s no such thing as “no strings attached.”

It’s easy to put on a straight face and say “I don’t care,” but do you really believe it? An important thing I have learned from playing the ukulele is the fact that it’s okay to be hurt and it’s okay to take things personally sometimes. Being sensitive is one among the many things that make us human, so quit trying to hide it and let out that good cry you’ve been bottling up for so long!

5. Don’t fret about the little things.

And finally, let’s not forget about focusing on the big picture: for some, it may be college graduation; for others, it may be a professional career they’ve had planned out since they were nine years old. Regardless of which category you fall into (or maybe you have a different category of your own), keep your eyes on that goal and don’t ever let a poor test grade or bestie breakup or any other small, unimportant thing get in the way of you achieving it.

Take a moment to evaluate an instrument you play or have played in the past and what life lessons it could provide you with… you may be surprised by what you uncover about yourself because it could (literally) be music to your ears!

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