Our student spotlight for October is actually twins Lydia and Julia Bobell! Both Julia and Lydia are juniors at Lee with a passion for learning and collaboration. As Julia is an oboe performance major and Lydia is a flute performance major, they have the opportunity to perform together on several occasions. We had the chance to ask both of them some questions about their lives, and the impact Lee has made on them.
Q: What are your future goals?
Julia: I want to perform in the pit orchestra for musicals/ join a military band so they can pay for my future education (masters, doctorate).
Lydia: I would like to get my master (get an assistantship) and doctorate in performance or possibly conducting. Then I would like to teach for a college or university (possibly Lee one day) and play for a major symphony. Maybe go into military to help pay for my doctorate and play for a fife band.
Q: What’s your favorite part about having your twin at Lee?
Julia: I always have a study partner and an emotional support person at all times. I can cry in front of her whenever I need to and same goes for her. Plus I don’t feel so lonely. I always have a best friend with me.
Lydia: I like being able to look at someone and have them understand my happiness/frustration/annoyance without words. We are basically the perfect married couple.
Q: How has Lee helped your career?
Julia: Lee has helped my career by preparing me for rejection. That sounds terrible, but hearing the stories of my professors who didn’t get the job or wasn’t picked for a certain position in an ensemble actually encourages me. It’s not because I suck. It’s just because music is such a hard career to peruse that I can’t let a rejection get in the way of pushing on for my dream. Also Lee has helped me to become more focused on my relationship with God. People always say that Lee is a “bubble”. They say it in a derogatory way, but I see it as a good thing. Here, I can focus on my relationship with God, focus on my studies, and focus on my career as a performer without the influence of the world really getting in my way.
Lydia: Lee has helped me stretch my limits. I was an A student in high school, got along with everyone, state ranked musician, all that jazz. At Lee, i learned how to accept my first A- and B. I learned how to prioritize my time and accept that i could not physically do everything. I had to make sacrifices. I had to decide what was more important; studying that extra hour, practicing that extra hour, or hanging with my friends for an hour. On different days the answer was different and i am still learning that that is ok. Lee has taught me that God wants me to succeed and reach for my dream and He will help me, but I need to do my part and work for it.
This wasn’t a question but I am thankful for faculty like Dr. Warner, Dr. Wykoff, Dr. Lee, Ms. Karla Hyder, Mr. Vaught and just everyone in the SOM who truly make an effort to know how much they care about me. The teachers here are truly my favorite part about my LeeU experience.
Q: What would you recommend to an incoming freshman?
Julia: I would recommend being prepared for struggle. Everyone struggles at some point in college (not just music majors). That’s just life. It’s important to find someone to confide in and BE THAT PERSON for someone else. Do not suppress feelings. Let someone know how you feel for real everyday. Also, it’s ok to have a meltdown in the practice rooms. I’ve done that soooo many times. On a happy note, remember to have fun. If you aren’t having fun and are stressing about your major so much that you are causing emotional or physical harm to yourself then take a step back and figure out what the issue is. You need to look out for yourself now that you are away from home.
Lydia: I would recommend the freshmen to take advantage of the one on one classroom experience and really get to know their professors. The teachers here are the best at what they do in the world but know one would guess because they are so humble and give all the credit to God. I love being able to go to literally any of my teachers and they will sit down with me and just talk. Each teacher looks out for their students and so often I meet people who have never stepped foot in a professors office because they dont feel like they can. The thing is, at this academic level, our teachers will eventually be our colleagues and networking is soooooo important in any field. I could seriously talk about the faculty here for hours. Some have fed me, some i have cried in front of, and one kidnapped me and took me to smoothie king. I love the people here and i just want the freshmen to love them too!
Congrats to both Lydia and Julia on their hard work! We are so proud of you both and wish you success in everything you accomplish.