Ambition and keeping up your drive

Enormously helpful and motivational tips from Peer Academic Coach Rebecca Melzer!

As a Peer Academic Coach the one thing I hear the most from students is that college is a lot harder than they think. It is a huge transition from living at home to providing for yourself and having to find your own motivation to complete your work. My number one tip to anyone in college and in general is BE AMBITIOUS! Why should you be ambitious? Because in life only so many people get to flourish and it’s those who put in all the drive they have that get that dream job and get to move up. There are a couple things that will help you to be ambitious and driven throughout college:

1. The Rejection Curve: Everyone experiences this, that time in your career where you aren’t getting any work in your field and you just feel rejected and discouraged to go forward. This is the moment where you stop….think…..and evaluate if the career path you’ve chosen is really something you want. Was the answer yes? Then do it! Push harder, work harder, try more, and something will come of it. Take the moments of rejections as lessons on how to advance your career.
2. Treat Yourself! So many instructors have told me that when I have a good audition or I finally complete my finals to treat myself. I know you’re thinking you don’t have the money but you don’t have to pay for a treat! You can give yourself a latte or maybe 30 minutes to take a bath and relax. No matter what you choose just always remember to commend yourself when you do well and reward yourself because no one else is going to and you deserve it!
3. Network. Columbia is all about networking but I don’t think they stress it enough. In artistic fields 80% of getting any job is based on who you know and then 20% is skill. Your reputation is everything in this business and how you act and come off to anyone and everyone will always come back around. You never know who you might need in the future. This being said always be polite and always hand out those business cards; you want to be remembered by everyone. Also remember that class where you didn’t try hard and always slept through it, well stop doing that! All of are teachers are working in their fields and they talk, if you are a bad student they assume you are a bad employee, your reputation is ruined and you haven’t even started your career; aka be a good student!
4. Use The Resources!  The biggest part of being an ambitious and successful person is using the resources you are given; I cannot stress this enough. The portfolio center is stocked with services to help perfect your branding and portfolio. The Learning Studio has handfuls of services to help you advance in your career as a student. There are also endless auditions for theater students in both film and the stage. There are tons of chorus classes to build that resume. There are photo studios and discounted printing at your disposal. The computer labs are here and we get tons of discounts at food and product stores as well as discounted theater tickets. The list of services at Columbia and discounts you get because you attend Columbia is endless, so use it!  Also use your fellow students and collaborate. Need help making a demo or producing a web series; all the people you would need go to the same school so find them! Ambitious people utilize the resources they have around them because they know it will advance them in their career!

The biggest part of being ambitious is to never give up. You may be lost and unorganized but that’s okay as long as you keep going towards your goals. Ambitious people thrive!