I do many different things. I am a pianist, accompanist, handbell soloist, and pre-med student and I find that I have many skills that help me with each of these talents or activities and some skills that I need to develop or improve to make me better.
I am determined, dedicated and I persevere. My first semester in college is packed with music and science classes that are a lot harder than high school. My piano teacher wants me to live in the practice room and has me working on some of the hardest music I have ever seen. While I have thought about it, I have not dropped any of my classes. I am determined to push through, go to class and study even when there are so many other things that I would like to do instead.
I feel that caring is one of my strengths. While I am invested in my craft and schoolwork, I am also invested in the craft and studies of my peers, roommate and other friends at SMU. I support others when they are performing and am willing to help anyone who asks, especially if they need a pianist to accompany them. I also find time in my busy schedule to spend time with my roommate because I care about her and I’s relationship and want to make sure that we are friends and nothing goes bad between us.
I am an excellent communicator because I am direct and to the point. I am also a good organizer. I need to be organized in order to keep track of my daily schedule, as well as keep all of my music, schoolwork, and notes organized. Look in my dorm room and you will see my schedule written out down to what time I take a shower depending on what day of the week. With no mom or dad to around, if I was disorganized, I would be late to my appointments and concerts, as well as not confused as to where I put my stuff.
I think of myself as being resourceful. I wanted to bring a car to school so that I could drive myself wherever I felt I needed to go, but then my parents said no. Therefore, I am figuring out how to get around when I need to go off campus. I signed up for a Zip car, got a DART pass and am making friends with students who have cars. I can bake a mean cupcake and am willing to trade them for rides to nail salons, the mall and other places. Of course though, they will need to supply the oven, as there is no baking in the dorm.
Adapting is one of my strengths while being strong willed and direct is a weakness. While I love Broadway show tunes, I like playing all types of music, from classical to popular, to choral to church music and other forms. I also, can take direction from a director to speed up, slow down and even change notes around as directed. I am learning how to successfully adapt to dorm life. Tiny closet, communal bathroom and a roommate are all new to me. My roommate and I get along great and I am learning to adjust to the bathroom as well as how to make the most out of our limited space in the dorm room.
When I look at my personality, two words that can describe me are strong willed and direct. Each of these is a good quality/skill to have but they can also be negatives. I need to learn to be more flexible at times and not be so direct. I believe it is important to stand up for your principles and support your friends and classmates but you have to be open to other people’s points of view. If I make it to med school, I hope to be an emergency room doctor. I have been told, I will be the doctor that says to patient “I going to fix your broken whatever but you must be the stupidest person I’ve ever met and don’t try that stupid stunt ever again.” I need to find a balance between adapting and strong willed as well as softening my approach sometimes.
Creativity is the number one skill that I lack. Do not ask me to improvise a piece of music, come up with a catchy phrase or slogan or design a flyer for the play you are directing. I have zero creativity in my bones. The most creative thing I have done is having my name monogrammed in pink on my lab coat. Further evidence can be seen when you go to my website. Sarahlynnwoodruff.wordpress.com As you can see, my website is very basic. It includes the minimum requirements to get me a passing grade. When I made it, I chose a theme that would show my simplicity in taste rather than showing off that I am very creative and artsy, which I am not. I think my lack of creativity stems not from being unable to think of new, different and unique ideas but rather my unwillingness to take chances.
Taking chances is all about being able to accept rejection. This is a skill that I possess but also lack. I know rejection does not mean failure but I still get upset over rejection. I was waitlisted at two other universities and one music school rejected me. I did not like receiving those letters nor was I happy when they came in the mail. However, as I look back those rejections helped narrow the field of choices and so far, I am very happy with my college choice. I like that my FACE (fine arts community experience) class forces me to do things out of my comfort zone. Taking chances is all about getting out of your comfort zone. So far, I eaten at a vegan restaurant (I’m a carnivore at heart) and went to the Texas State Fair (first local, county state fair I ever attended). I tried the vegan burger at Spiral, which was excellent and fried margarita at the fair, awful, and had a great time at both outings. This summer I went skeet shooting for the first time. My family does not own guns and I was scared I was going to be knocked back twenty feet when I pulled the trigger. It took a while before I hit my first “bird” but now I am hooked and love blasting clay pigeons out of the sky – who knew?
I also need to broaden my horizons. I have only traveled abroad once and it was to the Dominican Republic. The trip was for Spring Break this past year and we did not leave the resort compound, so that does not really count. I hope that during my time at SMU I plan to travel abroad to Europe or Spain in hopes of gaining a more worldly view that will then help influence my work as an artist and as a pre-med student.
I told my mom that I needed to go away to college. I have never lived anywhere but Atlanta and while I have visited many places, I have never spent more than a week somewhere other than home. Going to the University of Georgia would be within “walking distance” of Atlanta. The night my mom checked me into my dorm, I told her I did not want her to leave and that I should just come home and go to UGA. She told me no, that this was the school I was meant to attend. After going to Corral, I realized that yes; SMU is indeed the place where I belong. I was dropped off from Atlanta with a set of skills and hopes of gaining a whole new set over the next four years.
“Look how far I have come without anyone holding my hand…There’s still so much to learn, so many dreams to earn, but even if I crash and burn ten times a day. I think I’m here to stay. I’m gonna find my way” – Legally Blonde