So, almost done with my first semester here. There have been ups, there have been downs, there have been triumphs and there have been failures. But it has all led to this... I will be a second semester student in a matter of days, which may seem like an obvious progression, but in this accelerated 4-semester program, finishing a semester is like finishing a whole year of normal college. Supposedly.
So, what do I have to say about AMDA now that I've been through the first bit of it? I still hesitate to sing its praises too loudly since the work will keep getting harder, but I seriously am having trouble finding fault with the program. Sure, it's not for everyone, and it's very unforgiving. There's not really a middle ground here; you're either getting good grades with perfect attendance or you're flirting with dropping out. We are expected to give 110% all the time, no matter what, because that is what our employers will expect of us in our ideal work situation, namely, 8 shows a week for years on end. But I think that's a good thing. Better to learn it now than out in the real world.
Here's what I've learned as far as keeping up with the challenges presented: you have got to find something that refreshes and rejuvenates you, something that can calm you down or help you blow off steam. Keep yourself rested, hydrated, and well-fed. I've said all of these things before. They're still true. And I probably would have gone insane without them.
Honestly what wears on me the most is the constant scrutiny. We enter the school each day to be placed under a microscope in all of our classes. That which is most personal and most dear to us - the way we sing, the way we speak, even the way we move! - is constantly open to harsh criticism. It's certainly not easy to live like that day in and day out. But I think it's so worth it.
If we are open to receiving those criticisms, whether we agree with them or not, we are open to improvement on a vast scale, a scale on which most people fail to make even a blip. And that's exciting! Watching myself and my classmates grow over the course of this semester, getting to know our strengths and weaknesses as a group and as individuals, and watching us improve in every respect is truly one of the more rewarding experiences I have been privileged to experience. I greatly look forward to continuing our studies next semester, intensive as they may be. Difficulties and all, I love this school and its curriculum so far; it is exactly what I wanted from a school when I started looking to transfer not even a year ago. The teachers are all extremely knowledgeable and professional, and they truly want us to be, and push us to be, the best we can possibly be. I truly believe that if I throw myself into my work here, I will be setting myself up for blazing success upon graduation. And you just cannot beat that feeling. That I-am-going-to-conquer-the-world-and-AMDA-is-going-to-help-me feeling. ;)