It took me until recently to start noticing how absolutely lucky I am. I go to an incredible university and learn more about music and about life every single day; I have an an insanely loving family that supports me in becoming a teacher and a musician, with no absolute certainty that I'll have an easy time after school, amazing friends who are always there, and a beautiful, loving, understanding, and supporting girlfriend.
It amazes me to stop and think about how extensive my support system is. I can pick up the phone and call most of my professors any time that I might need them. These people go out of their way to help and make sure that everything's going well. They have a clear understanding of life, because they've been here before. They know this situation, and they know how we are. They really were students not that long ago, and they have the same passions for music that we do. They also know that life isn't always black and white, and that there are a lot of things that require our attention and distract us from our MacGAMUT assignments and from putting all our time into practicing, or preparing a score to rehearse, or learning all those duets perfectly. At times, some of us can be learning three or four instruments at a time and obviously we can't spend four hours in a practice room every night. Choices have to be made, and these people know that. They understand. They're human. And they care about us and want us to succeed.
Aside from being able to work with people at the university, I've made a ridiculous amount of friends outside school that I can always ask for help. I know that I can always drop in on my high school band directors and say "Hey, what on God's green earth is ____," and they'll help me. It's just the kind of bond you grow with people you work with for four years. They're incredible people and always push me to be my best and to do what I want.
My family is always a phone call away. They can grab something I forgot and bring it to me, or come have lunch and talk with me, and they can always make it to my concerts and recitals to support me, which is more than amazing.
I guess I just never stopped and thought about how much people in my life care about me. Everyone wants to help and support and make my life better. They all understand this growing process and that I'm still discovering myself, my path, and my future. They're here for the best and worst of times and they're all awesome people. Sometimes I forget how real my teachers can be. The person you talk to in the front of a classroom teaching you about neighbor 6/4s or clarinet reeds, or Mozart, isn't the exact same person who goes home to a family at night, or who can talk to you about your future and how to get to where you want to be. These are all real people.