The K-State Honors Recital means a lot to me. For some it is just a recital, but this was the first "proving ground" for me three years ago. In 2007, I was not given an assistantship at K-State when I started my Master's program. I was the only full time Master's student at K-State without one. It was embarrassing, especially since I knew I was very capable for a position - knowledge wise and in musicianship. My undergraduate grades were not as good as some because I had several semesters of intense depression, I was over-medicated in my opinion. I am sure I was "high" for an entire semester. Plus, I took French - the world's most ridiculous language - so that didn't help. Nonetheless, I was energized to prove myself my first year of my Master's. I worked incredibly hard to improve my technique and to get the best grades that I could. I "aced" my classes (except one, I got a B in, I missed the final...how stupid of me...I retook it and got an A, but got a B in the class because of that). So, I learned my lesson, and have "aced" all of my classes since. That spring, I won the K-State Aria competition - the first voice competition I've ever won! And, I sang on the K-State Honors recital against several of the graduate students who received assistantships. I sincerely did the very best I could have done. I sang Lenski's Aria from Eugene Onegin; I didn't win or place. But, I was very proud of what I did, and that it I felt that I proved myself to myself, that I could do it. Well, I tried the next year, was sick, and didn't win. But this year, my last year, I was in the finals, probably the best finals since I've been in it and I was lucky enough to have won. I honestly did not expect to, but it is a very important competition because of how it inspired me to try my best and hardest, no matter the result.