I'm often quite impressed with what I read about other Score Exchange composers. My story isn't that impressive! I didn't last as a music major in college - long, long ago - and I couldn't figure out why. I had the desire, and I thought I had a modicum of talent. I concluded I just wasn't bright enough. Decades later (literally), I discovered what the problem was: despite what I thought, and despite what my teachers thought, I didn't know how to read music. Once I did learn, I wanted to put it to use, and began studying composition privately. Musical training in college would have been extremely helpful - the way I'm learning now is quite slow - so I have this to say to you who are students: make sure you are really (really!) grounded in the basics, and take advantage of every opportunity you receive to learn!