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I dropped a new album despite my health and academic problems

Student prevails to find beauty from struggle

Working on an album while also having to be a student is something I like to think I’ve become vastly experienced with. In 2022, while attending St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights, I began writing and recording my first record “Love Songs.” The following year in 2023 my second record “Love Letters” was completed while also completing my second semester at Suffolk County Community College.

In 2022 I basically flunked out of St. Francis. I live with a health condition known as Epstein-Barr virus, which weakens my immune system. In 2022 I suffered a flare-up which rendered me unable to attend my classes at St Francis for nearly the entire month of March, but the guidance department at St Francis offered me little to no assistance. This lack of support is why I ended up transferring to Suffolk. Because of this situation, the majority of “Love Songs” was recorded in the summer of that year after I had transferred out of St. Francis.

In 2023 I was on a roll at Suffolk, which made the process of recording my second album breeze by without my grades taking a hit. In fact, from middle school all the way through high school and college, spring 2023 was my best-ever semester grade-wise. I received at least an A in all of my classes. Pulling this off while recording “Love Letters” simultaneously was something I never thought I could do given my previous struggles.

In the fall of 2023, I felt that I had picked up where I left off in the spring, motivated and raring to go on all fronts. When my colleagues and I began recording “The Nightshift,” all seemed to be going well. However, in October 2023, my health problems began to kick up once more. Given my previous experience at St. Francis, I made virtually no attempt to cue in anyone at Suffolk about my struggles. Regular doctor visits as well as late nights at the studio ending at 2 and 3 a.m. led to me once again fall behind in my schoolwork, virtually reliving my past life at St Francis.  Only after long conversations with all of my professors at the time would I have an opportunity to recover my grades. Turn everything in by December 22 and turn up early to all my remaining classes, and they’ll pass me. I had to do virtually an entire semester worth of essays in 2 weeks. I completed them all in 3 days. I was pulling more late nights, but instead of recording songs in the middle of a health scare, I was recovering in bed while obsessively typing on my laptop. I passed that semester with at least a B in every class, something I thought impossible at the end of October but was a reality by mid-December.

I took winter break and the new year of 2024 as an opportunity to fully recover and after a short hospitalization in January 2024, I started the spring semester at Suffolk with a newfound confidence in myself and an appreciation for my health. I made my spring schedule around maximizing effectiveness not only in class but also in my music. Thanks to this regiment, I was able to finalize “The Nightshift” and release the album on all platforms with two of my best friends on April 14, 2024. Persevering through all my health and academic struggles made the achievement of my artistic goals all the sweeter.

Hear “The Nightshift” on Spotify and Apple Music.

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About the Contributor
Fran Tini
Fran Tini, Opinions Editor
Fran Tini is a 21-year-old journalism major from Lindenhurst who is passionate about social issues and making sure students' voices are heard.

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