In college it is so easy to just go through the motions, turning assignments in quickly, maybe browsing through social media during that one boring class. During my undergrad I noticed that by just trying to rush through, I was missing the value that each class, professor, or event had the opportunity to bring me. At Columbia, we are blessed with professors who have real industry experience and connections that students may not even know about! Now is the time to find value in every class and make connections with professors and students, because you never know who could bring your career to life!
During my sophomore year of college, I changed my attitude about my academic work, and I really tried to find value in every class and apply it to my major. I began forming connections with my professors and showcasing my motivation, hard work and dedication to my future career. If there is one thing I learned, it is that everyone wants to work with aperson who is driven, or who will reply to your email in a reasonable time, and who is excited and willing to work hard for a mutual goal! Showcasing that you have these motivations can really set you apart in a crowd and make someone want to connect or collaborate with you!
During one of my vocal performances one of my former instructors, Derek Fawcett, commented on my performance and asked to co-write a song with me. I was excited by the opportunity and got right to work. Since it was during the pandemic, we worked entirely over Zoom until we wrote the perfect song. I recorded the song in my small at home studio, and Derek connected me with a producer, Zi Meng to produce it. The song we wrote is called “The Things That I’ve Lost” and it refers to all the things that we lost during the pandemic:
I can only watch them drop
Keep lookin’ up, wishin’ things could change forever
All the broken times, they’re all we’ve got
Used to know the road ahead of me
Now I’m just runnin’ up the cost
All the hope the pain the joy the shame I’m feelin’
I’m just countin’ all the things that I’ve lost
The things that I’ve lost
Feelings flood, drowning all of my intentions
Washing all the hope away
Never enough, motivation, inspiration
Cause my desperation wants to stay
Try to push through all the misery
But I’m just not the girl I was
Now I’m locked in, can’t win, barely hangin’ on, never saw it comin’
Now I’m just counting all the things that I’ve lost
Mem’ries, never came to be
Sparks of creativity
Tension, I just can’t release
All the things that I’ve lost
People I can’t do without
Nights when we were goin’ out
All the times I could’ve spent with you
Through this collaboration, I noticed that putting my motivation towards all my work was beginning to pay off and showcase to my professors that I was ready for more opportunities! In my master’s program, I now make a point to connect with as many creatives in my class as I can, even if they are in different majors. Doing so, I have had opportunities to help out with photo shoots and even work on some music for film and tv.
All I can say is: stay connected, collaborate and create something beautiful!