William Card: NOISE F.M.

_DSC4383Doing anything professionally means doing it a lot.

The “Ten Thousand” hour rule is the classic mantra that has trusted many into creating rigorous and regimented training schedules to master their craft. M. Molly Backes wrote these two facts about becoming a writer, “Fact [1]: writers write. Fact [2] In order to be a writer you have to write a lot. Fact [3]: there’s no shortcut.”

Yet, this week, it’s important to talk about feeling burnt out. The initial hype of the beginning of the semester has worn-off, and I am slowly seeing the sparkle leave the eyes of the first-year students in my First Year Seminar class. The CU Denver Snapchat story even featured, and strangely fetishized  staying up past 3 a.m. cramming for the first exams of the semester.

As a first-year singer-songwriter student, I would take my guitar to the “study-cubby” where all my pre-med friends were studying, to drill musical scales I already knew how to play.  I was so concerned about the public perception of my busyness that I sacrificed my sleep, holidays, and each spare moment as an opportunity to work past the point of breaking.

The title track to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ debut album The Heist is a homage to this idea simply with the title: “Ten Thousand Hours.” Throughout my middle school and high school years, I wanted to be great at something, especially after so many first hand encounters. My mother has a true brilliance in the way she connects individuals. She can make it feel like I’ve been best-friends-4-lyfe with one of my younger once-removed third cousins that I’ve met for the first time at my great-uncle’s funeral. This fearless attitude pushed me to continuously showcase the best parts of myself.

Enjoy your craft, get lost in the hours of doing what you love.  But, make sure you know who you’re doing it for. College embodies a mania of pushing ourselves to the fringes of solace, while simultaneously maintaining complete control.  You don’t owe your work, sanity, or passion to anyone but yourself. Take a break, watch American Horror Story, and hang out with a friend you love. A message to all: those who play hard, ball hard.

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