Tip#1: Keep practicing scales and arpeggios
I'm 25, studying in a doctoral program. By the time one has played this long, teachers rarely will tell you to brush up on your technique, even if you need to. It makes sense, if you think about it - no one likes telling their friend that they need to shower or clean their teeth more often. But no matter what your level, it's always your responsibility to at least maintain your basic technical chops. Even Heifetz was said to practice scales and arpeggios in all different varieties for an hour and a half a day. So did my violin teacher at USC when she was in high school in China (to the pure violists, I'm a violin minor, shhh!). Note that I mean the whole shebang: thirds, 10ths, fingered octaves, etc, everything in the Carl Flesch books. Her classmates made fun of her, sarcastically asking "How do you find a way to enjoy practicing scales and arpeggios this much every day?" Now they're not laughing anymore. I'm by no means advising most people to practice technique this much every day, but we could all benefit right now from at least some regular technical upkeep.
Tip #2: Use a metronome
We all know we should be practicing slowly, under careful control, listening critically. But human nature being what it is, it's natural to lose control of the tempo, and subsequently of everything else. Maybe it's just me, but no matter what I'm practicing, a metronome often helps me keep focused.
Tip #3: Ego is the Enemy
It's easy to resent others' success when you think you are more skilled. Chances are, though, that they deserve it in ways that you don't. The world doesn't care how many years you've been studying or how much better you think you are on a good day. Nothing holds you back more than your own ego. It's not the fault of your teacher, your environment, the economy, your significant other, Trump, SJWs, libtards, male privilege, or whatever else you feel like blaming at the moment. The problem is you.
So far all I've really said is to practice scales and arpeggios in thirds, octaves, etc, and to do so honestly and critically. But next blog post, I'll share some more exercises that I've felt can be helpful at all different levels.
So long, folks!