From Childhood to College: A Singer's Journey

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For most people, singing is an expression of unabashed freedom usually reserved for either car rides with friends or solo dance parties. While I frequently belt the lyrics to my favorite tunes, for me, singing represents something more sacred. I often staged elaborate home performances in my youth, screeching melodies for my audience: my stuffed animal collection and my mother. During each recital, I ignored the subtle grimaces that graced her features, electing instead to consider myself an excellent vocalist.

This exuberance and, perhaps, overconfidence led me to enroll in middle school choir. The teacher’s extreme patience, strategic vocal exercises, and arduous rehearsals gradually transformed my singing. Soon, the nasally discordant tones I had previously emitted gave way to smooth harmonies; I was a genuinely skilled singer. My affection for singing increased exponentially. I felt free — excited about the newfound ability to communicate my emotions and evoke them in others. The confidence I had falsely maintained as a child was now authentic, leading me to audition for any available solo.

Crooning also became a solace. I could console myself with a ballad that reflected my mental state whenever an obstacle occurred....

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