Existential Crises of a College Student (No. 1)

Tonight will inevitably be one of those nights in which one tosses and turns until the sun rises before their eyes.

Yes, I’m having an existential crisis. Call me dramatic, but my woes regard my entire future, so I think it’s a little worth stressing about.

First of all, you should know that I will be a String Performance major at my university. That means practicing hours on end each day, learning and memorizing music quickly and with endless musicality and creativity, learning the ropes of theory and composition, and most importantly, being the greatest performer you can be. My specific instrument happens to be the violin. While this instrument is so widely played that it almost turns itself into a cliché, most people do not understand that it is such a delicate instrument with innumerable facets to it (like all other instruments as well!).

So then, what’s the problem, you ask?

Well, there’s one other detail that might help you understand why I’m struggling with this issue: I just had a submuscular transposition on my left ulnar nerve with bone drills for anchoring. This is the most serious, worst-case-scenario surgery of its kind, and the problem itself arose because of my commitment to the violin alongside the fact that I have very short fingers.
Now, I realize this may sound almost comedic at first– I even laughed at one point with my family because we always used to joke about how I could possibly play this instrument with such small fingers. But when I was given he choice between quitting the violin completely and having the procedure done, my heart sank and this was no longer a joke. The only thing that I committed myself to for the last decade was potentially out of my grasp, and I couldn’t deal with that.

Luckily, I was fortunate enough to meet the amazing professor at my future university who saw me perform prior to my operation, and recruited me to his school to learn under his wing. After all of the incredible scholarship offers and lots of careful thought, I agreed. He understood that I was having surgery, and told me I could simply take the theory classes for the first year until I could play again. I am so grateful to him and I will never lose sight of that.

But today, I picked up my violin for about 15 minutes, and both the pain in my arm and in my heart stopped me from going on. The sound I produced was that of fingernails on a chalkboard. My sound has never been like that, but now I cannot change it. I realize it has been less than 2 months since my surgery, but now I’m worried and frightened for my future; My major, my passion, and my career path– all of it seems so foggy and muddled. The scholarship my college education depends on is also at risk because a string performance major cannot play a string instrument.

I just don’t know what to do at this moment in time.

About Phoebe Kim

Hello fellow bloggers! My name is Phoebe Kim, and I am an incoming freshman in college this year at Seattle University. A couple facts about myself: - I am from Salem, Oregon - I am 100% Korean in blood but I can fluently speak, read, and write in both Korean and English, and I dabble in Spanish as well! - I am super ordinary, and am very excited to blog here!!!

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