Grease and Glamour | Jinna Yang | TRESemmé‎

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to represent TRESemmé‎ at the TeenVogue x #CollegeFashionWeek show in New York City, and the entire experience not only inspired me to continue doing what I love – it also got me thinking about how college was the most crucial time in my own creative career. I realized that it’s important to not merely think of college as four years of learning, but also four years of your life that will pass you by. How are you going to spend these four years of your life? What will you have to show for it besides a GPA and a few lines on your resume about the major you chose?

If you’re looking to create a career for yourself, college cannot just be about the classes that you take – classes don’t give you a career. You have to be proactive and use this time to find out what it is that you love and learn to CREATE ways to showcase your skills.

So here’s a little recap on the event, along with a few thoughts on how #CollegeFashionWeek gave me a few pointers on how to take advantage of these four wonderful years.

1. College is the time to figure it out what you love to do.

I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life when I entered college, and I was forced to choose a major that seemed like it would fit me and give me a shot at a real job after graduation. I was 17 years old and completely clueless. I knew I loved to write, draw, dance, talk and take photos, but what creative young teen didn’t? I chose to major in Communication, which gave me the option to explore the many facets of media – journalism, public relations, marketing and literature – but it wasn’t my major that helped me figure out what I loved to do. The time I spent after class ended up being more rewarding than the time I spent in class.

I wasn’t satisfied reading from a textbook or listening to a lecture – I wanted to create something. So I started a blog on a whim – with no specific direction, just an idea and a few hours googling ‘how to start a blog’ on the internet.

Fast-forward four years, and I’m invited as the official blogger for TRESemmé to cover #CollegeFashionWeek, a night of celebrating fashion and college women. #CollgeFashionWeek was started by by three students while they were undergrads at Harvard University – Stephanie Kaplan ‘10, Windsor Hanger ‘10, and Annie Wang ‘11.

College Fashion Week | Her Campus | TRESemmé‎

These women didn’t sit through their classes to pass tests. They used what they learned by sitting in those classes, took the time outside of class to create something, and that something happened to become the #1 global community for college women.

2. College is the time to learn how to use your resources.

I knew I loved to take photographs, but I didn’t have an expensive camera. My digital point-and-shoot wasn’t cutting it for me, so I asked around and found out that all Communication majors were able to rent camera equipment during the week. I sent out an email and asked about the details, showed up to sign my first DSLR camera out and asked my friend Melanie to explore and go shoot some photos around campus. I ended up putting these photos onto a poorly-built blogspot page to create my first three posts on my very first blog. It wasn’t even called Grease & Glamour. It was bad, just bad. But it was a start.

Fast-forward four years, and I’m sitting in the TRESemmé‎ hair salon, getting my hair styled by Johnny, a TRESemmé‎ stylist, and covering #CollegeFashionWeek as the official blogger for TeenVogue and

Grease and Glamour | Jinna Yang | TRESemmé‎

If I had never sent out that email or asked around about renting digital media equipment, I never would have started my blog. I would have let the excuses (I don’t have enough money to buy an expensive camera. I don’t know what I want to write about. I don’t have anything interesting to say.) prevent me from creating anything at all.

Hair Inspiration | Jinna Yang | TRESemmé‎

You don’t have to have all of the answers to the questions that will come along the way. You just have to start, and college is the perfect time to use your resources to help you do just that.

3. College is the the time to practice.

When you figure out what it is that you love to do, you take the time to practice. Spend a few hours each day studying for that test next week, but don’t forget to spend another few hours practicing on your craft because that’s exactly what will help build your career.

#TresCFW | TRESemmé‎

Before the show, I got a behind-the-scenes look at TRESemmé stylist Tyler Laswell creating the looks for the runway. A native of Louisville, Kentucky, he was inspired by a colleague who encouraged him to use his talents and pursue a career in the big city. He started by enrolling at The School of Hair Design by L’Oreal, where he practiced on perfecting his craft as much as possible.

Braid Hair Inspiration | TRESemmé‎

Three weeks after he graduated, he left his hometown to chase his dream in New York City. He has since styled some of the biggest shows during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, including Marissa Webb, Clover Canyon, Rebecca Minkoff and Jenny Packham. Tyler also leads Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Miami SWIM for shows like Beach Bunny, Agua Bendita and Gottex. His work has been featured in Italian Vogue, Lucky, Martha Stewart and In Style Magazines. So the TRESemmé team took some of that inspiration and created three hair looks for the fashion show – this one below was my absolute favorite:

Hair Inspiration | Pony Tail | TRESemmé‎

Love to play the guitar, but scared it’s not a “guaranteed” path to success? Practice anyway. Do what you love and do what makes you happy – always. Want to become a fashion designer but have no idea where to start? Spend your free time researching, reading the stories of those before you, google everything until you get an idea of where you want to begin. Spend these next four years practicing on your craft – whatever it may be.

4. College is the time to find like-minded people and participate.

College Fashion Week | HerCampus | TRESemme | Hair  Inspiration

The four years you spend in college can become the years that you form the best relationships and participate in the events that will help build your career.

College Fashion Week | Her Campus | TRESemmé‎

Every single model walking the runway at #CollegeFashionWeek was a college student. Every musical guest performing on a stage in an awesome venue in New York City was a college student with a dream. Every person there took initiative to find like-minded people and participate in something that allowed them to do something that they’ve always wanted to do.

College Fashion Week | Her Campus | TRESemmé‎

“I think people who are creative are the luckiest people on earth. I know that there are no shortcuts, but you must keep your faith in something greater than you, and keep doing what you love. Do what you love, and you will find the way to get it out to the world.”

Here’s a big thank you to the TRESemmé and team for inviting me to be inspired by both the college students following their dreams, the creative, successful career women/men doing what they love and motivating me to continue chasing my own dreams.

Thank you so much for reading this post. For daily motivational updates + photos, find me on instagram: @projectinspo.

With love,

  • Samsam

    Current college student here – what great pointers! I don’t know where I’d be if I hadn’t spent time doing what I love to do and practicing it to no end…would my blog even exist? Would I have gotten to go to Dublin, Germany, and Paris? What if? Thankfully I’ve explored. I’ve dreamed. I’ve ventured into the unknown. And even though graduation is next December and I’m not yet sure what comes after, I’m not scared! I’m definitely embracing my time here at university 🙂 It’s wonderful!
    ~ Samantha

    • Hi Samantha! Thanks so much for your comment and sharing your story with me. Umm, Dublin sounds amazing, and I’ve never been to Germany – I’d love to go. Paris has such a dear place in my heart. You are so inspiring, and when I was in college I couldn’t wait to ‘get out’ because I was so ready to get out there and start working. I hope you’re enjoying this amazing time in your life, and I can already tell you’ll be doing amazing things! Sending you love, xx Jinna

  • I went to college for fashion design, and I feel like you really need to embrace the lack of limitations when you can. Once you enter the “real world” (AKA work), you’re constantly doing what other people want, and might find out that your creativity is stifled. It’s so important to embrace the freedom of college while you can! I’m so glad I started my blog, even though I did it after I graduated – but I definitely feel like my ability to broaden my horizons, perspectives, and opinions helped to shape it into what I’ve created today.

    <3 dani

    • Dani you hit the nail right on the head. That is awesome that you started your blog and are a self – starter. That’s something that not everyone can say they are and you should be proud! Sending you lots of love and wishing you much success! Xx

  • Unni

    I wish I could go back and follow these pointers..
    One more thing – you will miss those times so much once you get out..

    • It’s so true unni I miss college a lot definitely having all my friends close by and being able to work out consistently lol! But don’t forget that this isn’t all race. You can start NOW or plan to start NOW. Everyone’s path is different and there’s a reason for that! Believe in yourself because I believe in you! Xx Jinna

  • Angie

    You couldn’t ever express better those points!!.. I finish next year so nowadays I’m feeling very anxious while I have to decide what emphasis I’m going to choose to finish my major but I know there are always multiple options to choose from but there is one special made for every one of us. The one I have in mind is what I love the most and I never regret spend time looking new things about it. You made me figure it out now, your post made me feel sure about it.. I’m sure at the end I’m going to take the best decision, thank you!! – Angelica

    • Angelica! You’re in one of the best moments of your life right now take the pressure off and enjoy it. And if you know what it is that fuels that fire inside of you and what makes you happy you should follow your heart and focus on doing that! When I graduated I just wanted to find a job because I wanted to move from Virginia to NYC. But my day job didn’t deter me from continuing my blog. I just sacrificed sleep and playtime for hours of researching, coding and photo editing! Whatever you can dream, you can do. Believe in yourself! I believe in you!!! Xx Jinna

  • racingcourne

    My cousin just started college this year and it has been making me reflect on my time in college. There are so many things I would do differently!

    • If I could go back I’d do so many things differently as well, lol. <3

  • TLay Lay

    I really enjoyed this blog post. I’m seeing what I missed when I was in school. I technically have 3 years left of school.. since I basically failed my sophomore year. Reading this has left me see my potential and what i can do to accomplish pretty much anything in my life:) Thank you<3

  • Khaled Samir

    I’m already following your advice xD I don’t just settle for learning accounting and business, I learn music, make videos and blog posts, add to that sports. My days are pretty full and there is diversity. My parents disagree with me and say I should focus just on college for my career, I tell them I’m using what I learn in college in my work that i’m doing right now, and hey! I’m doing what I love 🙂

  • Erny Luiza Kartolo

    I remember reading this when I was feeling the worst stress and anxiety I’ve ever felt a couple of weeks before my final major exams before graduation. It made me feel so much better about my future.

    About 9 months on and I’m about to start studying in my dream university. Thank you, Jinna, for all the encouragement.

    Entering My a dream University //