A rant thread? Great! I love this forum... *unleashes frustration*
So, I'm a music education major in college. My primary instrument is voice. My twin sister is an animal science major in college. The problem? I'm the only musician in the family. As far as my sister goes, my mom has her PhD in Biology and my dad has is masters in engineering. So they're science and math people. So where do you think all the parental support goes?
My sister has this whole "holier than thou" attitude about it that I can't stand. I come home this weekend and she literally tells me the reason my cat, who I can't bring to school with me, is so desperate for attention is because she just doesn't have time to pet him. Because it takes SO LONG to just give him a quick hug and squeeze a few times a day or to scratch his ears. she's a commuter, so she's home and she gives him food and water while I'm at school. Needless to say, I was pretty mad at her because my cat's used to daily attention and it's just not fair to completely ignore him for a day or two and expect him to handle it well.
Then, later, I comment that someone I know has a calculus teacher who apparently has an accent I'd never heard before, and I'd like to hear it because accents fascinate me. So, she suggests I go to one of the calculus lectures even though I'm not in calculus. When I tell her I don't have time to go to a class that's not in my schedule, she juts scoffs at me and says that I do. So, she has no time to even give my cat a hug during the day, but I should have time to go attending random classes that aren't in my schedule?
By the way, she's taking four classes and the minimum number of credits she can take. I'm taking ten classes and I'm almost in credit overload. And some of my classes require me to be at school on certain weekends in addition to class time. Just to put things in perspective.
And what also really frustrates me is the way our parents act. In this whole stupid situation, she's pretty much the "good twin" and I'm... well... I guess that makes me the "bad twin". When I'm stressing out, I don't get much support. One night, I called home bawling my eyes out. While I was crying, they were supportive-ish. But, later that week they took that and used it, and everything else that had gone wrong that week, against me to try to bully me into changing my major. When my sister struggles in a class, my mom and dad tutor her in it and help her through it. I know they can't tutor me in my classes, but I'd really like it if they could just give me a "you can do it" instead of telling me to drop my major because I'm never going to succeed at it.
It makes me SO JEALOUS to see the way they help my sister because I just don't get even close to the same support she gets. And there are aspects of my major that I do REALLY struggle with. I get terrible stage fight. It's something I'm trying to work through, but it's really difficult for me to perform in my studio classes, or in recitals, or on quizzes and tests in choir and piano, or even on my final for my voice lessons. And sometimes a little bit of encouragement from my parents would be really nice.
And the lack of support from my parents makes me frustrated and agitated and very tense. I talked to my voice teacher about what was going on at home and she told me that part of my problem during that voice lesson was that the emotional tension from home was manifesting itself as physical tension and hindering my ability to sing well during my lesson. And it's true. One of my biggest issues with my voice lessons is that I just can't relax and part of it is all the issues with my parents.
So, I told my parents that they were actually hindering my ability to perform well in my lessons and they laughed at me. But, you know what? It's not limited to my voice lessons. My next recital is going to be a disaster! Both of my parents were at my last recital, which I thought I'd performed well at. Recently, they told me that I'll just never be as good as any of the other students, which completely crushes my confidence about that last recital. And that's just going to make me a thousand times more nervous next time I have to sing in a recital.
I'm just frustrated and angry. I KNOW they're not musicians and I KNOW they don't understand my major. But would it KILL them to at least try to understand it, or at least give me the same amount of encouragement they give to my sister? And would it KILL my sister to admit that my major is hard, too? Or to just stop siding with my parents in EVERYTHING?
Singing is difficult. I was talking to my choir director about my frustrations, and he expressed what I was going through better than I could. He said "This major is tough. Music's just going to knock you down over and over and over again. What matters is whether you get back up or give up". And that's exactly what's been happening. Sometimes, things don't go well and I get frustrated and discouraged. But eventually I pick myself up and keep going. And it's because the disappointments are more common than the successes, but the successes feel good enough to just make it all worth it. And if I were to just drop the major the way my parents say I should, I'd regret it forever.
But, I'm just having a really hard time picking myself up right now because there are so few places I can go to for support. My choir director's great, but he's busy and doesn't always have enough time to talk with me or help me work on something. My voice teacher's great sometimes, but she pushes me hard and sometimes I leave lessons feeling pretty discouraged, so she's not always the best place to go for support. I have friends, but sometimes encouragement from a peer can't take the place of support from my parents.
I know that eventually I'll get back on my feet and move on, but I'm just having a really hard time getting passed the last "you'll never be good enough, give up" lecture from my parents, and being home and seeing how they are with my sister, and even seeing my sister's attitude towards my major isn't helping.