To be honest, my first semester is easily summed up with “one day at a time”. It was odd for me to move back to Ohio in the first place, especially in contrast to the high-stress DC area that I moved from. One of the major things I have been taught is about failure, and how I react to it. Luckily, this time, my failures were not catastrophic compared to some that I have experienced in the past. They were subtle, yet as I looked in the mirror, the things I realized were huge. When I started Music Theory, I was so overwhelmed. That was really difficult since very few people in my hall and surrounding me were in that course so there was a lack of understanding my struggle from my peers. However, I am now one of the best students in my music theory course. I know that material backwards and forwards, and people come to me to ask questions. That doesn’t make me feel superior, but it definitely makes me proud. I worked extremely hard to even learn the basics of Music Theory, expanding my vocab in an area that very few people even need in their daily life, so sometimes it can seem rather impractical. For the first time, I experienced rejection following an audition as well. Frankly, I was happy about that. Not only did it show me how genuinely important it is to truly want something, but it also taught me about putting in what you hope to get out of things. There are talented people here who work extremely hard, and they will be the ones who deserve the good outcomes. I had been slacking on practicing, so I got better. I picked a favorite practice room, and treat every day like a 9-hour work day, rarely going home until all of my classes are finished. It’s simply a change in perspective, but it has improved so much about me. I’m here to learn first, and I love what I’m studying. Though there is a fine line between keeping music as a passion versus it becoming work, but I have managed it well so far. As for next semester, I am hoping to continue growing in and learning about, while also loving music further.
“I’m a stressball. Always have been. When I was little, I used to pester Mom and Grandma, “what are we going to do today?” Everyday, before breakfast, 6-year-old Peter had to know the plan.
In many ways, 22-year-old Peter’s still the same kid. Deadlines, the to-do-list, constant figuring on “where to next” – those things all hang over my head. Wandering has never been an option, I have to be moving forward – am I going in the right direction today? At certain points in college, worrying like that has consumed all of my strength, and more than once caused me to crumble.
My younger brother’s not like me. We live together now, and I’m amazed by his easy-going approach to every day. Life doesn’t wear on Dan; he glides through it. He’s got drive, but he doesn’t let that get in the way of enjoying the moment. We could all learn something from a guy like Dan.
When I think back on my life so far, my favorite memories don’t come when I’m white-knuckling my way down the road. They come when I’m free-wheeling. I don’t know what my life’s story is quite yet: its unfinished, there’s no outline in place. In the past, that would’ve scared me; it would’ve freaked 6-year-old Peter out. As year 23 rolls through, I’m looking forward to living more of life outside the tracks.”
– Peter Bonavita
The first week was a whirlwind. With countless faces and names being thrown my way, I must admit that asking someone where they are from and what their name is has become more of a simple conversation starter rather than something I can genuinely remember after the first time. Though I would love to remember all of the names and places, I still have to think about where I am going and what in the world I am doing 100% of the time, so many of the names get lost. I came from one of the most diverse cities in America, so moving here and knowing that the majority of people are from the same place is almost more intimidating to me than anything. Though I understand that everyone has a relatively different background, the lives they have lived are so very different than mine. When people relay the towns they are from, I am often surprised at how many of them are from very close to each other or even the same area. I dove straight into the diversity in DC, and to hear everyone claim that there is so much diversity here is interesting to me, despite the fact that I know it is not in reference to the global diversity I became accustomed to. Not to say there is a lack of diversity by any means, but it is just a different category of it in my eyes. Anyway, my first few classes made it clear to me that so many people here were the top of their classes, so now that we are all here the bar of expectation has changed, and that is definitely something to get used to. I love feeling challenged to work hard and improve everyday, so I am looking forward to what my peers will teach me along with the vast curriculum I will experience.
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