This is the time of year when Idyllwild Arts Academy receives a number of letters of appreciation from our students. The following letter from Rentso Stavrev, a Bulgarian violinist who will be a tenth-grader in the fall, does a good job of capturing the student experience at Idyllwild Arts:
“In these past six months, I’ve had the best time of my life. Idyllwild Arts Academy is the perfect school where you are able to balance work and fun in a good way, because sometimes you choose to hang out with your friends instead of doing work, but that doesn’t happen here at Idyllwild Arts. I learned how fun it was to do work with your friends.
“I really enjoy it when I go to the practice rooms with them. It’s fun because everyone is trying their hardest, and that motivates me to be even more productive. I’ve become a more productive person since I came because of all of the talented people surrounding me all the time.
“I feel like the people I met here became my second family. I’ve never been close with anyone outside my family, but that changed here. I can talk about everything with my friends, and I feel like even if they are tired of my silliness, they will still listen to me. In the fall semester I mainly hung out with people from the Music Department, but during the spring semester a lot of new people came and I got to make new friends.
“Since I came here, I’ve done a lot of music stuff. I love my chamber music because we’ve been together so long that it’s easy to work with them. Andrew and Subin are also two of the best musicians I’ve seen!
“I also love playing in the orchestra. This semester we played some amazing pieces, and my stand partner and I had a cool duet during the concert, which happens very rarely. I’m proud that I managed to get the second-best position in the orchestra my first year here, and I hope I’ll get to be the concertmaster next year.
“Before I came to Idyllwild Arts Academy, I hated school. But my teachers showed me how interesting learning can be. I’ve been enjoying school and school work a lot more. The teachers here are so supportive, no matter what you do. If you fail, they will give you another chance, unlike my last school. The teachers there hated everything. They hated their lives, their jobs, and mostly us, the students. But here, every time I’m in class I feel like everyone in the classroom or the Zoom meeting is part of our big family. This makes classes and studying really fun.
“I was scared about leaving because I will be away for almost a hundred days, and I don’t want that. I love my family and friends back home, but everything here is just so much better. The only thing I’m not going to miss is the food, but by saying that I don’t mean to say the food here is bad. I’m just saying that my mum is an amazing cook!
“The thing that I will miss the most are my friends. I will be keeping in touch with all of them throughout the summer, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not going to miss them. Some of my closest friends here are seniors, so I won’t see them here again, but I hope that our paths will cross later in life.
“I’m grateful that my parents let me be here. I’ve always been an ungrateful person, especially when I was younger, without understanding how much my parents always did for me. Now that I’m here I finally understand how much they did for me in the past fifteen years. I will try to repay them, but I don’t know if I will be able to do that in one lifetime.
“All I know for now is that I will try my best so I can make them proud, and also prove to them that letting me come to Idyllwild Arts was the right thing to do.”