I received an email from a student who is planning to attend Berklee. The student asked me for advice on the school. Here's my response.
Hi [prospective student],
I'm glad to hear you are pursuing your interests at [community college]. I went to a community college myself and it's a great bargain.
Students who do the best at Berklee tend to have a passion for music that makes them not realize they are "missing out" on other things (like a social life). They tend to come in with a great deal of knowledge about one style but are open to exploring others. They don't think of classes, homework, rehearsals, etc. as a chore but as an adventure. They understand that sometimes you learn the most when you try, and fail.
Berklee is a big school (4000+ students), which is its strength and its weakness. There are so many choices for teachers, courses and peer groups that no matter what your focus you will find others who have the same. The weakness of Berklee's size is that no one will hold your hand through the program unless -- emphasis here -- unless you ask them to. You have to understand when you need help and have the confidence to go get it.
Best of luck to you,