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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at York U chapter.

To be honest, I never expected to get this far. It was a random night in the middle of August when I decided I wanted to learn how to play guitar. I looked up something along the lines of “best guitar teacher Toronto,” and emailed the one with the best reviews. He got back to me the next day, and I had my first lesson scheduled for that week. 

It was a forty minute drive to the lesson, with only Google Maps and my father’s guitar for company. I got there right on time, and ended up being a few minutes late because I had no idea where I was supposed to park. I made it inside, and finally sat down to learn. 

The first thing I learned was how to properly hold the guitar and pick, how to position my arm and hands, and the correct tuning of each string. Then, I learned the two chords needed to play A Horse With No Name by America. For the next week, I spent half an hour each night practicing switching between chords. I felt kind of stupid about it until I went to my next lesson and my guitar teacher told me that he saw a lot of improvement. 

Learning a new skill has been really great for me, and very enjoyable, but there is so much more to it than being able to play songs you like (even though that is pretty cool). As I continued practicing, I discovered that the noticeable improvement brought me immense pride and satisfaction. I also realized that focusing on the repetitive motions helped quiet my thoughts, allowing me time to get out of my head and focus on something more productive. 

I am nowhere near good at playing the guitar, and despite that I still pick it up when I can. I get frustrated sometimes, especially when songs I used to be able to play end up sounding horrible. There was a night a little while ago where I was practicing, and every single chord and strum sounded like I was a two year old who had stumbled upon a guitar; not like I had been practicing for 8 months. I was convinced that I somehow managed to forget everything I had learned in the past 8 months, and that at my next lesson, my teacher would fire me as a student. But I went to the next lesson anyway, and discovered that I hadn’t actually forgotten how to play, I just needed to step back for a minute. 

Learning guitar has taught me a lot about myself and life in general. It has taught me patience, perseverance and resilience. It’s taught me to trust myself and my abilities, while being open for critiques and improvement. 

Look, I’m not saying that everyone reading this should go out, buy a guitar, hire a teacher and start learning. It’s not feasible for everyone, and definitely not interesting for some. What I am saying is that if you can find something that captures your attention and forces you to learn something new, this is your sign to take that first step and just try it. 

Eliana Alexandroff is a writer for Her Campus, with the York University chapter. She writes articles of varying topics, depending on what inspiration strikes her with. Beyond her role at Her Campus, Eliana is in pursuit of her bachelor’s degree of Social Work, with a minor in Professional Writing. In her free time, Eliana enjoys listening to music and watching television shows, spending time with her close friends, and adding to her ever growing list of books to read. Her favorite singers are Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift, she has seen The Office and Bones more times than she can count and drinks way too much coffee for her own good.