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thoughts and fears about starting school and moving forward


I got my McGill student ID card the other day. Now that I have something to hold in my hand it feels real. I’m really going to school less than four weeks. I’m really going to be commuting and packing lunch and attending classes and doing homework and practicing all the time. A lot of people have asked if I’m nervous about the time commitment or the workload but I’m really not worried about those things. I’m at my best when I’m busy and I know how to work hard.

What I’m nervous about is taking such a concrete step towards music. If I was going to change direction in my life, now would be a good time. I’ve already been working in marketing and communications recently so I could study those and try and pursue a career with some job security.

Taking a step in this particular direction is making a commitment to a life of a lot of beauty, really hard work, and sacrifice. And that is really scary.  But even though I’m scared I can’t seem to turn away from music. Even though I’m broke I don’t feel desperate enough to abandon my dreams. Maybe that’s foolish and risky but maybe these risks I take now will pay off later.

Anyway studying jazz performance at McGill is something I’ve wanted to do since I was 15 years old and I would be remiss if I didn’t honour my adolescent aspirations while I have the chance.

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Renée is a queer, non-binary, disabled, and chronically ill creator based in Montreal. They are a singer, songwriter, pianist, YouTuber, and Periscoper. They are currently a student of jazz studies at Mcgill University and a freelance vocal coach for young and emerging singers.


  1. Sheila Soares

    Go for it! Congratulations.

  2. Mike Fahie

    Job security is overrated, ephemeral and often unrealistic. Life is about challenge, hard work, joy, and chasing your dreams. It’s not easy, but it’s wonderful!

  3. Dominique Forest

    ‘If I had only…’ is no way to live. Go for it and enjoy your journey!

  4. Thanks for the support, everyone 🙂

  5. Nicole

    Such a realistic and mature approach! You have so much talent accompanied by a variety of skills and determination that I’m sure that you’ll find a way to achieve both security and fulfilling your dream. I hope you’ll have such a great time!!!!! xox

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